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PATH20000 Biochem, Immunol & Pharmacol Assignment Example UCD Ireland

This module forms part of the core curriculum for the Graduate Entry into Medicine (GEM) Programme. The course consists of material covering 5 main themes; 1) Macromolecules of Life, 2) Cellular Metabolism 3) Cellular Adaptation, Injury, and Death, 4) The Immune System in Health and Disease, and 5) Principles of Pharmacology.

Learning about the structure and function of proteins, metabolism in cells, gene expression, pathology, immunology, and inflammation with an emphasis on how it relates to disease progression. Students will also learn some pharmacology including molecular biology, the kinetics of drug metabolism, and action.

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In this course, there are many types of assignments given to students like individual assignments, group-based assignments, reports, case studies, final year projects, skills demonstrations, learner records, and other solutions are given by us.

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

Assignment Task 1: Detail the structure and function of proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids

Proteins are essential molecules that carry out most of the chemical reactions in cells. They are made up of amino acids, which are joined together in a chain. The sequence of amino acids in a protein determines its structure and function. Some proteins form structural elements of cells, while others are enzymes that catalyze biochemical reactions.

Nucleic acids are the genetic material of cells. They are made up of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid). DNA carries genetic information, while RNA is involved in the synthesis of proteins. RNA is also involved in the replication of DNA and the transfer of genetic information from DNA to protein.

Carbohydrates are essential for cell metabolism. They are made up of sugar molecules joined together. A short segment of carbohydrate is called a monosaccharide. Longer chains of monosaccharides are called polysaccharides. Some carbohydrates are used as energy sources, while others serve as structural components of the cell. carbohydrates are essential for the energy-providing process of glycolysis, and they are also important in cell-to-cell communication.

Lipids are important macromolecules that store chemical energy and form cell structures. Lipids are a diverse group of molecules that include fats, waxes, and oils. Some lipids are essential for the structure and function of cells, while others are involved in the transport and storage of energy.

Assignment Task 2: Describe the biochemical basis for energy generation within the cell

Cellular metabolism is the process by which cells produce energy from food molecules. This process involves the breakdown of food molecules to release their energy, and it is carried out by enzymes. Cells then use this energy to produce ATP, which is the only form of stored energy that cells can directly use.

Metabolism in cells consists of two major phases: the glycolytic or Krebs cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation. Glycolysis is the initial step in the breakdown of food molecules, and it produces a small amount of ATP. The Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation are the two steps in cellular metabolism that produce the most ATP.

Assignment Task 3: Detail the chemical processes underpinning the synthesis and metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, nucleotides, and porphyrin

  • Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Humans cannot synthesize all amino acids, so these have to be obtained from food. The body can store a certain amount of protein as amino acid molecules, which can then be built into larger protein structures when required.
  • Nucleotides are the monomers that make up nucleic acids. They are made up of a nitrogenous base, a five-carbon sugar (either ribose or deoxyribose), and one to three phosphate groups. Nucleotides act as the monomers that join together to form nucleic acids.
  • Carbohydrates serve as energy sources for cells and are important components of cellular structures. Carbohydrates contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms arranged in rings. They can exist as monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, or polysaccharides. Monosaccharides contain a ring of carbons with various numbers of hydrogens and oxygens attached to them.
  • Lipids are essential for cell structure, energy storage, and communication. They can be classified into four groups: fats, oils, waxes, and phospholipids. Fats are made up of fatty acids attached to a glycerol backbone. Oils consist of long-chain fatty acids with no glycerol backbone. Waxes are esters of fatty acids and long-chain alcohols. Phospholipids are made up of a glycerol backbone, two fatty acids, and one phosphate group.
  • Porphyrins are organic molecules that contain iron. They are important in the transport and storage of energy in cells. Porphyrins are a part of the hemoglobin in red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body.

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Assignment Task 4: Outline the range of adaptive cellular responses in the body occurring secondary to stress, increased or decreased workload

The stress response is made up of increased activity in the sympathetic nervous system, decreased activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, glucocorticoid release from the adrenal cortex, secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) and oxytocin by the posterior pituitary gland, release of epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenal medulla, and mobilization of stored nutrients.

  • The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the fight-or-flight response. It causes an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. It also causes the release of glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex.
  • Glucocorticoids are hormones that help the body deal with stress. They increase blood sugar levels, suppress the immune system, and help the body to use stored energy.
  • The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for the rest-and-digest response. It causes a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. It also causes the release of ADH and oxytocin. ADH helps the body to conserve water, and oxytocin causes the uterus to contract after childbirth.
  • The adrenal medulla is responsible for the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine. Epinephrine increases heart rate and blood pressure, and norepinephrine increases breathing rate.
  • The posterior pituitary gland is responsible for the release of ADH and oxytocin. ADH helps the body to conserve water, and oxytocin causes the uterus to contract after childbirth.
  • Mobilization of stored nutrients refers to the body’s ability to use its stores of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins to meet its energy needs.

Assignment Task 5: Describe the main morphological features and intracellular signaling cascades associated with necrotic and apoptotic cell death

The main morphological features of necrotic cells are swelling lysis and the release of cell contents. Intracellular signaling cascades that lead to necrotic cell death include the extrinsic pathway, the intrinsic pathway, and the RIP3 pathway.

  • The extrinsic pathway is activated by the binding of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) to its receptor on the cell membrane. This leads to the activation of caspases, which cause the cells to die.
  • The intrinsic pathway is activated by damage to the mitochondrial membrane. This leads to the release of cytochrome c, which causes the cells to die.
  • The RIP3 pathway is activated by the binding of ligands to the toll-like receptor (TLR) on the cell membrane. This leads to the activation of RIP3, which causes the cells to die.

The main morphological features of apoptotic cells are shrinkage, chromatin condensation, and the formation of apoptotic bodies. Intracellular signaling cascades that lead to apoptotic cell death include the death receptor pathway and the mitochondrial pathway.

  • The death receptor pathway is activated by the binding of ligands to receptors on the cell membrane. This leads to the activation of caspases, which cause the cells to die.
  • The mitochondrial pathway is activated by damage to the mitochondrial membrane. This leads to the release of cytochrome c, which causes the cells to die.

Necrotic cell death is when the plasma membrane ruptures, resulting in the release of cellular contents into the extracellular space. Cells undergoing necrosis show an increase in volume due to an influx of water. Necrotic cells are generally very fragile and have a blebbed appearance.

The caspase cascade is responsible for the initiation of apoptosis. The caspases are a family of enzymes that participate in the execution of apoptosis. There are two types of apoptotic cell death: extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsic apoptosis is initiated by the activation of death receptors on the surface of cells. Death receptors are proteins that belong to the tumor necrosis factor receptor family. When death receptors are activated, they bind to their corresponding ligands. The ligands are proteins that are released by cells undergoing necrosis. The binding of the ligand to the death receptor initiates a signaling cascade that leads to the activation of caspases.

Intrinsic apoptosis is initiated by the release of apoptotic proteins from the mitochondria. The apoptotic proteins are released when the mitochondria undergo damage. The activation of caspases leads to the fragmentation of the DNA and the death of the cell.

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Assignment Task 6: Describe the structure and function of the innate and adaptive arms of the immune response

The innate immune response is the first line of defense against infection. It is a nonspecific response that is activated immediately after exposure to a pathogen. The innate immune response consists of the phagocytic cells, the cytokines, and the complement system.

  • The phagocytic cells are a group of cells that include neutrophils, macrophages, dendritic cells, and mast cells. The phagocytic cells are responsible for phagocytosis, which is the process of internalizing harmful microbes or particles by surrounding them with plasma membrane extensions called pseudopods.
  • The cytokines are proteins that act as messenger molecules to activate other immune cells. The cytokines are produced by the phagocytic cells, the lymphocytes, and the epithelial cells. The cytokines play a role in the activation of the innate immune response and the adaptive immune response.
  • A complement system is a group of proteins that are involved in the destruction of microbes. The complement system is activated by the binding of antibodies to antigens on the surface of microbes. The complement system plays a role in the activation of the innate immune response and the adaptive immune response.

The adaptive immune response is the second line of defense against infection. It is a specific response that is activated after exposure to a pathogen. The adaptive immune response consists of the B cells, T cells, and antigen-presenting cells.

  • The B cells are responsible for the production of antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that bind to antigens on microbes or foreign particles with their Fab regions. The binding of the antibody causes the activation of the complement system. The binding of antibodies to antigens is specific because each microbe or foreign particle may have several different antibodies that bind to it. The binding of the antibody to its antigen allows for other immune cells to destroy the microbe or foreign particle via phagocytosis and to activate the adaptive immune response. Antibodies are highly specific because they can only bind with their corresponding antigens.
  • The T cells are a group of lymphocytes that include cytotoxic T cells and helper T cells. The cytotoxic T cells are responsible for killing the cells that become infected with intracellular pathogens. The helper T cells activate other immune cells to enhance their host defense mechanisms and to coordinate the activities of B and T cell responses.
  • The antigen-presenting cells are specialized cells that are responsible for processing antigens. These cells internalize foreign particles and fragmented proteins from the cytoplasm. The antigen-presenting cells then break up these antigens into smaller peptides, which are combined with MHC molecules on the cell membrane. The peptide-MHC complexes are displayed by the antigen-presenting cells to the T cells. The binding of the T cell to the peptide-MHC complex allows for the activation of the cytotoxic T cells and the helper T cells.

The innate and adaptive arms of the immune response work together to protect the body from infection. The innate immune response is activated immediately after exposure to a pathogen and provides a general defense against microorganisms. The adaptive immune response is activated after recognition of the specific antigen by T cells that have been exposed to it previously. This provides a specific defense against infection that is only effective for the same pathogen that created the memory cells.

Assignment Task 7: Describe the basic principles that determine absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs

Absorption is the process of a drug entering the bloodstream from its site of administration. The rate of absorption is determined by the drug’s solubility in water, its lipid solubility, and its pKa. The solubility of a drug is determined by its chemical structure and the pKa indicates whether the drug exists as charged or uncharged at physiological pH (7.4). Drugs that are soluble in water and lipid solvents will be absorbed more rapidly than drugs that are only soluble in water. The rate of absorption is also affected by the blood flow to the area where the drug was applied.

Distribution is the movement of drugs from blood vessels into tissues, organs, and specific cells throughout the body. The blood-brain barrier is a protective mechanism that ensures only specific and necessary substances enter the brain. Distribution is also affected by the binding of drugs to plasma proteins. Drugs that bind to plasma proteins will be distributed more widely throughout the body than drugs that do not bind to proteins.

Metabolism is the process of a drug being converted into another substance. The metabolism of a drug can occur in the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract. The enzyme systems present in these tissues determine the rate and extent of drug metabolism.

Excretion is the process by which drugs are eliminated from the body. The kidneys are the primary organ responsible for excreting drugs. The liver also plays a role in drug excretion, primarily by metabolizing drugs and then ejecting the metabolites into the bile. Some drugs are also eliminated in the feces.

Assignment Task 8: Explain the principles of drug-receptor interactions, understand the concepts of receptors and signal transduction systems and describe the basis on which receptor subtypes are distinguished

The interaction of a drug with its receptor is determined by the chemical structure of the drug and the receptor. The affinity of a drug for its receptor is determined by the drug’s shape and its ability to form complementary bonds with atoms in the receptor. The amount of drug-receptor binding determines whether or not a particular dose of a specific drug will produce an effect.

Receptors are proteins that bind to drugs, hormones, and other signaling molecules. The interaction of the receptor with the molecule generates a signal that is transmitted to the cell’s nucleus. This signal initiates a series of events that leads to the activation of genes and the production of proteins.

Signal transduction systems are composed of multiple proteins that work together to relay a signal from the receptor to the nucleus. The proteins involved in these systems are called kinases, and they are responsible for activating other proteins that carry out the desired cellular response.

Receptor subtypes are distinguished by their sequence of amino acids, which determines their shape and affinity for specific molecules. Receptor subtypes are also distinguished by the proteins that interact with them. Some receptors are activated by a single type of molecule, while others can be activated by multiple types of molecules.

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