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Medical Biotechnology MSc

Pázmány Péter Catholic University
Faculty of Information Technology and Bionics

Molecular biology subject
(6 credit points, terminal examination, Prof. Miklós Csala; P-ITOBA-0002)

Distance Teaching
Lectures will be delivered online on Zoom platform. Invitation will be emailed to the students registered to the subject. As Zoom video conference is interactive, students also have the opportunity to ask the lecturers live or written questions.
Mid-term oral examinations will also be held on Zoom interface (in the form of bilateral discussions).

Lecturers: Prof. Miklós Csala , Dr. Tamás Mészáros, Dr. Veronika Zámbó
Teaching secretary: Dr. Veronika Zámbó
2020/2021 Spring semester


The knowledge to be attained
The storage, maintenance and expression of genetic information, as well as their molecular mechanisms are fundamental topics of the course. DNA replication, DNA damage and repair, RNA synthesis and processing, protein synthesis, maturation and targeting, and different ways of regulation of gene expression are discussed. Regulation of cell cycle and apoptosis, in the light of the molecular background of tumor development is also part of the subject. Some of the lectures provide insights into molecular biology research.

Midterm tests and Students’ presentation
There are 3 evaluations during the semester.
The first two occasions (midterm tests) are oral examinations, at which a topic should be picked from the list and answered verbally. The third occasion is the Students’ presentation on selected articles. The student’s performance is evaluated from 1 to 5 in each of the three tests.
Students who miss a test due to illness (with a medical certificate presented) will be provided with a retake opportunity within one week.

Requirements for the signature
The course of the subject will not be recognized in case of more than 3 absences during the semester.

The semester ends with an oral terminal examination.
Students draw from two sets of topics, so the grade is based on two parts. The partial grades are offered in advance if marks of 3, 4 or 5 have been obtained at each of the three evaluations held during the term. Therefore, if the grade of the Students’ presentation is at least 3, then the grade of the first oral midterm (better than 2) is counted as the first, and that of the second oral midterm (better than 2) is counted as the second partial grade. Midterm marks worse than 3 do not yield such exemptions, and the student must draw a topic from the given set at the terminal exam. In case of a mark worse than 3 at the Students’ presentation, no partial grade is offered at the terminal exam, regardless of the performance at the midterm tests, i.e., the student has to answer a question from each set in the exam.

What to learn for the terminal examination?
– The material of all lectures during the semester.
– Medical Pathobiochemistry (eds. Mandl J and Machovich R) ISBN: 978 963 226 407 3
– Molecular Biology of the Cell (Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, Raff M, Roberts K and Walter P) ISBN: 978-0815341055


Location: online
Duration: 2 x 45 min (Mondays 9:15-11:00 & Wednesdays 8:15-10:00)

18 February09:15Basics of molecular biologyCsala / Zámbó
210 February08:15DNA replicationZámbó
315 February09:15DNA damage, mutation, repairZámbó
417 February08:15TranscriptionCsala
522 February09:15RNA processingCsala
624 February08:15Control of gene expression at mRNA levelCsala
71 March09:15TranslationMészáros
83 March08:15Intracellular protein traffickingMészáros
98 March09:15Post-translational modificationsMészáros
1010 March08:15Control of translationMészáros
1117 March08:15ORAL MIDTERM I
1222 March09:15Protein degradation (proteasome and autophagy)Mészáros
1324 March08:15Methods of protein generationMészáros
1412 April09:15Studies on protein-protein interactionsMészáros
1514 April08:15Control of cell cycle ICsala
1619 April09:15Control of cell cycle IICsala
1721 April08:15Apoptosis ICsala
1826 April09:15Apoptosis IICsala
1928 April08:15Molecular background of cancer ICsala
203 May09:15Molecular background of cancer IICsala
215 May08:15Molecular biology of virusesCsala
2210 May09:15ORAL MIDTERM II
2312 May08:15Students' presentations and consultation

Midterm 1

Topics for the 1st midterm

  1. Structure of DNA in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, histones, topoisomerism
  2. Proteins involved in prokaryotic DNA replication
  3. Initiation of replication and the replication fork
  4. Special features of eukaryotic DNA replication, the telomerase
  5. The most important types of DNA lesion, DNA damage and mutation
  6. Formation and repair of “mismatch damage”
  7. Ways to repair pyrimidine (Thymine) dimer
  8. Structure and function of E. coli RNA polymerase
  9. Initiation and termination of transcription in prokaryotic cells
  10. Initiation and termination of transcription in eukaryotic cells
  11. Processing of mRNA and the structure of mature mRNA
  12. Regulation of transcription in prokaryotes
  13. Regulation of transcription in eukaryotes
  14. Mechanisms for influencing eukaryotic gene expression (other than transcriptional control)
  15. Structure and function of RNAs involved in translation
  16. Mechanism of aminoacyl-tRNA formation
  17. Structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic ribosomes
  18. Initiation of translation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
  19. Elongation and termination of translation
  20. Post-translational modifications and functional consequences
  21. Eucaryotic cell organelles and the nuclear protein transport
  22. Protein transport to mitochondria and the ER
  23. Vesicular protein transport
  24. Possible mechanisms for the control of translation

Midterm 2

Topics for the 2nd midterm

  1. The eukaryotic cell division cycle – phases and checkpoints
  2. Cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases and their inhibitors
  3. Control of cell cycle in G1 and S phases
  4. Control of cell cycle in G2 and M phases
  5. Handling DNA injuries and ongoing replication during the cell cycle
  6. Structure and function of apoptosome, DISC, and PIDDosome
  7. Types of Bcl-2 proteins and their role in apoptosis pathways of different origin
  8. Properties of caspases and their role in regulating apoptosis
  9. Components of the “survival signal” and its connection with the regulatory proteins of apoptosis
  10. The endoplasmic reticulum stress and the UPR
  11. Control of the level and activity of p53 protein
  12. Effects of p53 protein on cell cycle and apoptosis
  13. The concept of tumor suppressor genes, the functions of some representative tumor suppressor proteins
  14. Genetic modifications leading to tumor cell formation
  15. Grouping of animal viruses according to their replication mechanism, effect of double-stranded RNA in the eukaryotic cells
  16. Replication cycle of retroviruses, acutely transforming retroviruses
  17. Intracellular proteolysis, ubiquitination, proteasome
  18. Intracellular proteolysis, types and mechanisms of autophagy
  19. Protein production by using prokaryotic organisms
  20. Characteristics of eukaryotic and in vitro protein production systems
  21. The yeast two-hybrid system
  22. Fluorescence-based studies on protein-protein interactions


Lecture slides are available here.

The passwords to download pages can be obtained from the laboratory teachers personally.