Cell Biology

Course Info

Course Number/Code: 7.06 (Spring 2007)
Course Title: Cell Biology
Course Level: Undergraduate
Offered By: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Department: Biology
Course Instructor(s): Prof. Terry Orr-Weaver
Prof. Hidde Ploegh
Course Introduction:
Syllabus Help support MIT OpenCourseWare by shopping at Amazon.com! MIT OpenCourseWare offers direct links to Amazon.com to purchase the books cited in this course. Click on the book titles and purchase the book from Amazon.com, and MIT OpenCourseWare will receive up to 10% of all purchases you make. Your support will enable MIT to continue offering open access to MIT courses.Description

Biology of cells of higher organisms: Structure, function, and biosynthesis of cellular membranes and organelles; cell growth and oncogenic transformation; transport, receptors, and cell signaling; the cytoskeleton, the extracellular matrix, and cell movements; chromatin structure and RNA synthesis.


A strong familiarity with basic genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology as taught in the prerequisites 7.01x (Introductory Biology), 7.03 (Genetics) and 7.05 (General Biochemistry) is assumed knowledge for this course. Some research experience and/or 7.02 (Introduction to Experimental Biology and Communication) are advantageous for students in the course, as it is heavily focused on experiments. We assume that you are thoroughly familiar with the material in chapters 1-4 and 9 of the textbook Molecular Cell Biology by Lodish, et al. before taking this course. If you are having problems with this introductory material, please see your teaching assistant or one of the course professors.


The required textbook for this course is:

Lodish, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 5th ed. New York, NY: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2003. ISBN: 9780716743668.

Chapters 1 through 4 and the genetic and molecular techniques described in Chapter 9 are essential and required background knowledge for the course. You should also be very familiar with the material in these 5 chapters before you take 7.06. Reviewing these 5 chapters will give you a good sense for whether you have adequate background to take this course.


There is one required recitation per week.


Your overall course grade will be an average of your four exam scores. All exam scores count equally. No exam score will be dropped.


There will be three quizzes worth 100 points each given during the term, and one quiz worth 100 points given during finals week. The fourth exam for the class is not cumulative in terms of material/information covered on the other three exams. However, you will be held responsible for the experimental techniques that we discuss throughout the course, which can be applied when studying a wide range of topics. Quiz Review Sessions will be held prior to each quiz.

If you feel that your answer was graded incorrectly, please submit a written explanation of your regrade request to the course professor. Please note that all quizzes are photocopied before they are returned to the students. Quizzes must be submitted for regrading by the deadlines announced in class.

Problem Sets

This course includes four problem sets. They will not be graded.

Intellectual Honesty

We hope and trust that academic misconduct will not occur during this course. We nevertheless want to emphasize that we will be rigorous in our enforcement of Biology Department and Institute rules. It is the policy of the Department to keep a record of all cases of academic misconduct and to forward cases to the Dean of Undergraduate and Student Affairs. To guard against the possibility that dishonesty will go undetected, we will xerox all exams and regrade exams from these xerox copies.


The calendar below provides information on the course's lecture (L) and exam (E) sessions.

Course calendar.SES #TOPICSL1Road map of course, what is and what is not cell biology, properties and behaviors of cellsL2Structure of biological membranes, lipids and lipid modification, membrane proteinsL3Pumps, channels, transportersL4Receptors, basics of signal transduction (Note: Reprise and extension in lecture 14)L5Protein secretion, biogenesis of membrane proteinsE1Exam I (lectures 1-5)L6Regulation of the cell division cycleL7Regulation of DNA replicationL8The microtubule cytoskeletonL9Regulation of mitosisL10MeiosisL11Cell cycle checkpointsE2Exam II (lectures 6-11)L12Protein modifications and intracellular transport, glycosylation, vesicular transport, receptor mediated endocytosis, lysosomes, organelle biogenesisL13Protein modifications and intracellular transport IIL14Signal transduction: Detailed molecular mechanismsL15Nerve cells, ion channels, synapse, Ca++ regulated eventsL16Nerve cells IIL17Immunity and host pathogen interactions IL18Immunity and host pathogen interactions IIE3Exam III (lectures 12-18)L19The actin-myosin cytoskeletonL20The extracellular matrixL21Cancer IL22Cancer IIL23Stem cells and cloningE4Exam IV (lectures 19-23)