Gene Expression: Molecular Basis and Medical Relevance

Module code: BS3010

Module co-ordinator: Professor Ian Eperon

In this module you will study the expression of protein-coding genes. We will look at the environment of a gene in the nucleus, transcription, processing of mRNA and production of multiple mRNA sequences from each gene, export of mRNA into the cytoplasm, proof-reading of mRNA, and regulation by small RNA molecules. At all of these stages, we will examine the mechanisms by which the level is controlled and fidelity maintained, and will address the origins of disease when these mechanisms fail.

Part of the module consists of short polemical debates about current issues in the field. Pairs of students will be given papers that reached contradictory conclusions and will each use the data available (and any other supporting material) to argue their case.

Topics covered

  • Control by transcription
  • Control by splicing 
  • New controlling processes


  • 30 one-hour lectures
  • 1 one-hour seminar
  • 9 one-hour tutorials


  • Exam (70%)
  • Written work in tutorials (15%)
  • Debates (15%)