Spring 2015 - MBB 430 D100

Mechanisms of Secretory Transport (3)

Class Number: 5091

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    BLU 10011, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    MBB 322 and MBB 331, with a minimum grade of C.



Analysis of mechanisms of protein, lipid, and nucleic acid delivery and transport within cells; processes of protein targeting, exocytosis, and endocytosis; molecular mechanisms of vesicle transport and membrane fusion; role in signal transduction and disease.


Lecture Schedule:
Each week begins with an analysis of a historical “landmark paper” to introduce each topic. This discussion is followed by student seminars that present current aspects of each topic.

Weekly topics:

  1. Introductory lecture. Overview and techniques in molecular cell biology.
  2. Protein targeting, recycling, and retention.
  3. Membrane structure and viral fusagens.
  4. Synaptic exocytosis, and the SNARE hypothesis.
  5. Yeast SEC genes.
  6. Yeast VPS genes.
  7. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis.
  8. Coatamer-mediated (non-clathrin) vesicular transport (COPI and COPII complexes).
  9. Caveolae and membrane rafts.
  10. Membrane and cell polarization (transcytosis).
  11. Nonvesicular lipid transfer & membrane contact sites.
  12. Nuclear import and export.


  • Oral presentation 30%
  • Class participation 20%
  • Midterm exam 20%
  • Final term paper 30%



Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th Ed., (2007), B. Alberts et al.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

  • Students are advised to review the plagiarism tutorial found at
  • For help with writing, learning and study strategies please contact the Student Learning Commons at
  • Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability, must contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities (778-782-3112 or e-mail:  csdo@sfu.ca)

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html