Bi8870en Mechanisms of Cell Death

Faculty of Science
Spring 2021

The course is not taught in Spring 2021

Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 2 credit(s) (plus extra credits for completion). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
doc. RNDr. Alena Hyršlová Vaculová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. RNDr. Alena Hyršlová Vaculová, Ph.D.
Department of Experimental Biology - Biology Section - Faculty of Science
Contact Person: doc. RNDr. Alena Hyršlová Vaculová, Ph.D.
Supplier department: Department of Experimental Biology - Biology Section - Faculty of Science
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Basic knowledge of cell biology, physiology and biochemistry.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
This subject is aimed to provide students with novel information about cell death proces and its significance in multicellular organism, different forms of cell death, the main cell death signaling pathways and their regulation and role in the development and treatment of various diseases. Students will be provided with the practical knowledge and tips for the detection of cell death using modern methods of cell and molecular biology and biochemistry.
Learning outcomes
Students of the course will acquire knowledge and detailed survey about the role and molecular mechanisms of regulation of cell death in multicellular organisms. Students will understand basic signaling pathways responsible for initiation/execution of cell death, and obtain information about individual crucial molecules and their function in modulation of cell death. They will be familiarized with the important role of cell death in development and treatment of various diseases. Finally, students will be provided with a detailed characteristics of modern methods currently available for detection of cell death, their practical applications, and general recommendations
  • 1) Introduction to cell death field, definition, classification of individual cell death forms, main biochemical and morphological features, physiological importance of cell death in the development and homeostasis of multicellular organisms. Model organisms in apoptosis study, main signaling pathways and apoptosis inductors. History of the cell death research and knowledge, significant discoveries and scientists, new trends and news in this research field. 2) Proteases in cell death regulation I – caspases – definition, characteristics, structure, function, classification, role of individual caspases in cell death regulation, caspases substrates and their function, endogenous and synthetic caspase inhibitors. Caspase regulation in animals, comparisons in man, Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans etc. New trends and results in caspase regulation. 3) Proteases in cell death regulation II - non-caspase proteases; lysosomal/non-lysosomal; cathepsins, calpains, granzymes, their functions and significance. Metacaspases, their structure, new substrates and function. 4) Mitochondria in cell death regulation. Oxidative metabolism, mitochondrial membrane permeabilisation and potential Bcl-2 family proteins, their structure and complex role in regulation and dynamics of mitochondrial function. Proapoptotic proteins released from mitochondria - cytochrom c, Smac/DIABLO, Omi/Htra, AIF etc., their role and signifinance. P53 protein as an important regulator of intrinsic apoptotic pathway, assocoiation with cell cycle regulation and DNA damage. 5) Extrinsic apoptotic pathway. Characterisation of death receptors and ligands of TNF family, DISC complex and related signaling. Physiological role of these ligands and their importance in therapy. Important molecules in extrinsic pathway, description of signaling induced by TNF, Fas and TRAIL and molecular mechanisms responsible for regulation of cell sensitivity/resistance to their effects. TRAIL in anticancer therapy, new applications. Dependence receptors, related signaling and its significance in development and treatment of selected diseases. 6) Characterisation and comparison of individual cell death forms, definitions, description, classification, molecular mechanisms, interactions and signifikance in health/disease. Necrosis, autophagy, necroptosis etc. 7) Atypical cell death modalities, their signaling pathways, regulation, significance. Pyroptosis, anoikis, eryptosis, etosis etc. 8) Apoptosis in disease. Examples of individual diseases (neurodegenerative, immunological, allergic, inflammatory, cardiovascular, viral etc.) related to deregulated cell death, and the consequences. New therapeutic possibilities of regulation. 9) Cell death and cancer – news and future prospects, new molecular therapeutic targets and applications. Principles and examples of novel combined trerapies. 10-12) Methods for cell death detection – modern methods of cell and molecular biology and biochemistry. Cell death detection at the level of cell populations, individual cells, and cellular organelles and molecules. In vitro and in vivo detections. Detailed survey of currently available methods. Principles of selected apoptosis detection methods, advantages, limitations, criteria for selection, applications. Data interpretation. Methods for detection of other cell death forms, principles, individual examples. Discussion.
    recommended literature
  • Apoptosis. Physiology and Pathophysiology. Reed JC, Green DR.Cambridge University Press 2011. ISBN 978-0-521-88656-7
  • Means to en End. Green DR. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-87969-887-4
  • Cell death. Edited by Gerry Melino - David Vaux. 1st pub. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. xi, 303. ISBN 9780470715734. info
Teaching methods
lectures accompanied by discussions
Assessment methods
The course will be completed by the written exam, based on the content of the lectures from the whole student term. In order to pass the exam, the student has to obtain 40 points out of the 70.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
The course is taught annually.
The course is taught: every week.

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