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Unit of study_

BCMB3002: Protein Function and Engineering

Proteins are the major doing molecules in biology. Their molecular make-up gives them a much more diverse set of properties than any other biological or synthetic polymer, leading to a vast array of different structures and functions. In this unit of study, you will learn about the structure, dynamics and interactions of proteins, and how those properties influence their myriad roles in nature. You will discover how these complex molecules are thought to have evolved, how they are made and dismantled, how they fold, and drive key processes inside and outside cells. You will also explore how the properties of proteins can be modulated by other molecules, or engineered to develop proteins with new functions or properties for use in biotechnology, medicine, bioremediation and industry. Our practicals, other guided and online learning sessions will introduce you to a wide range of currently utilised techniques for protein biochemistry ranging from protein visualization, quantification, purification and enzymatic activity, to in silico and virtual reality studies. By the end of this unit you will be equipped with senior level skills and knowledge to support your studies and careers in the cellular and molecular biosciences.

Code BCMB3002
Academic unit Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Credit points 6
6 credit points from (BCMB2X02 or BCHM2X71) and 6 credit points from (BCHM2X72 or BCMB2X01 or BCHM3XXX or BCMB3XXX or BIOL2X29 or BMED2401 or BMED2405 or GEGE2X01 or MBLG2X01 or MEDS2002 or MEDS2003 or PCOL2X21 or QBIO2001)
BCHM3X81 or BCMB3902
Assumed knowledge:
Intermediate biochemistry and molecular biology

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. outline the basic principles and describe in detail the constituent elements of protein structure; attribute these properties to protein and cell function.
  • LO2. describe the physical principles and chemical properties that drive protein structure, function, folding and biomolecular interactions
  • LO3. understand and predict how changes in protein sequence can affect structure and function and contribute to disease.
  • LO4. compare the various ways in which proteins can be designed or engineered; assess which properties of proteins and protein machines can be adapted to achieve a range of different activities or specificities.
  • LO5. describe how the processes of protein synthesis, folding and degradation contribute to homeostasis in the cell; evaluate how disruptions to these processes are regulated.
  • LO6. examine the mechanisms through which enzymes can be regulated through naturally occurring and synthetic modulators.
  • LO7. explain, with examples, the difference between qualitative and quantitative measurements; determine which of the different techniques should be used; implement methods to visualize and characterise the properties of proteins in an accurate and reproducible manner.
  • LO8. collect experimental data and adapt, develop and trouble-shoot experimental procedures for novel contexts.
  • LO9. assess the quality of data, interpret and draw conclusions from data obtained in the laboratory.
  • LO10. summarise and identify the key points from biochemical data from a range of published sources; synthesise and communicate the findings.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.