Prerequisite: 15:282 and 18:271 or permission of the Instructor.

This course will examine, in detail, the biochemical properties of nucleic acids (nucleotides, DNA, and RNA) and how these dictate the structure and function of nucleic acids as information storage and transfer molecules. The course will begin with the enzymatic biosynthesis of nucleotides and then discuss DNA and RNA in their various contexts. For DNA, this includes the structure and expression of genes and chromosomes, exploring enhancers, promoters, terminators, centromeres, telomeres, epigenetics, imprinting, and chromosomal territories. This will include important DNA/protein interactions, such as DNA polymerases and DNA repair, transcription factors, histones, and nucleosomes. For RNA, this will include a discussion of the three eukaryotic RNA polymerases and the expression, structure, processing, chemical modification, and function of the pre-mRNAs, pre-rRNAs and various other small RNAs, such as snRNAs, snoRNAs, tRNAs, microRNAs, and telomerase RNA. Other aspects of RNA biochemistry will also be explored, including spliceosomal, Group I and Group II introns, splicing and alternative splicing, RNA editing, RNA degradation, and the ribosome. Throughout this course, biochemistry and molecular biology methods will be discussed in lecture. This course includes plasmids, restriction enzymes, PCR, DNA cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, DNA sequencing, and synthetic biology.

Cross-registered with (Biology) 15:352.
3 lecture hours per week, one term.