Course: Epigenetics and regulation of gene expression

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Course title Epigenetics and regulation of gene expression
Course code KMB/616
Organizational form of instruction Lecture + Lesson
Level of course Master
Year of study not specified
Frequency of the course In academic years starting with an odd year (e.g. 2017/2018), in the summer semester.
Semester Summer
Number of ECTS credits 5
Language of instruction Czech
Status of course Compulsory-optional
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Mozgová Iva, Mgr. Ph.D.
  • Gahurová Lenka, Mgr. Ph.D.
  • Paris Zdeněk, RNDr. Ph.D.
  • Gahura Ondřej, Mgr. Ph.D.
Course content
Content of lectures: 1. Introduction Introduction to the basic terminology and information needed for the rest of the course (DNA methylation, histones, heterochromatin, euchromatin, DNA packaging, DNA/histone reading proteins, and their effect on the regulation of transcription). Interesting examples of epigenetic regulations from the "real life". 2. Histones The structure of nucleosome, histones and histone variants, histone modifications and enzymatic complexes (writers), histone code readers, chromatin inheritance in mitosis and meiosis, examples of the effect of the chromatin structure on transcription (polycomb and trithorax). 3. Non-coding RNAs Types and functions of short and long non-coding RNAs. Roles of ncRNAs in regulation of gene expression (heterochromatin induction, RNA-mediated DNA methylation, RNAi). Laboratory methods exploiting properties of ncRNAs (RNAi, CRISPR). 4. Epigenetics of mammalian development Role of epigenetic mechanisms in mammalian development (oocytes, sperm, embryos, cell differentiation), interplay between DNA methylation and histone modifications and their inheritance. Imprinting. 5. Epigenetics of plant development Role of epigenetic mechanisms in plant development and reactions to the environment, similarities between plant and mammalian epigenetics and their consequences (DNA methylation, imprinting, the effect of epigenetic mechanisms on the life cycles). 6. Dosage compensation between sexes Epigenetic mechanisms contributing to dosage compensation of X-linked genes in various species (C. elegans, Drosophila, mammals). 7. Transcription initiation General and specific transcription factors. Transcriptional start and end sites. Regulation of transcription initiation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Chromatin remodelling and nucleosome displacement in association with transcription. Gene looping. 8. Co- and posttranscriptional regulations Splicing and its role in regulation of expression. The evolution of splicing. Trans-splicing and self-splicing introns. Polyadenylation and 5' capping. 9. Export and stability of RNAs Mechanisms of RNA export from nucleus to cytoplasm and the effects on regulation of gene expression. Processes of mRNA stability regulation. 10. Processing of rRNAs and tRNAs, RNA editing, translation regulation Ribosome assembly from pre-rRNA and ribosomal proteins. tRNA processing in cellular sub-compartments. Examples and functions of RNA modifications and RNA editing in regulation of translation. Content of practicals: Students' presentations of selected topics focusing on the role of epigenetics and regulation of gene expression in medicine, presentation of key research publications in the journal club.

Learning activities and teaching methods
Monologic (reading, lecture, briefing), Dialogic (discussion, interview, brainstorming), Work with text (with textbook, with book), Projection
  • Class attendance - 25 hours per semester
  • Preparation for classes - 30 hours per semester
  • Preparation for credit - 30 hours per semester
  • Preparation for exam - 30 hours per semester
Learning outcomes
The aim of the course is to give an overview of the main mechanisms of the regulation of gene expression at the molecular level, and show their importance for lives of the organisms.
Knowledge of epigenetics and regulation of gene expression, comprehensive understanding of scienticfic publications in English, making presentations in powerpoint.
knowledge of basics of molecular biology (passing an introductory molecular biology course)

Assessment methods and criteria
Written examination, Student performance assessment

To pass the exam, the student must score at least 50% of points from the final examination test.
Recommended literature
  • Allis, Caparos, Jenuwein, Reinberg. Epigenetics.
  • Lewin. Genes.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Category of Branch/Specialization Recommended year of study Recommended semester
Faculty: Faculty of Science Study plan (Version): Experimental Biology (1) Category: Biology courses - Recommended year of study:-, Recommended semester: Summer