Summer 2021 - MBB 430 D100

Mechanisms of Secretory Transport (3)

Class Number: 4552

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 12 – Aug 9, 2021: Tue, Thu, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • 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. Autophagy: stress-induced metabolic recycling.
  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%


  • Lecture: Synchronous (students are expected to attend scheduled lectures remotely)
  • Assessments: synchronous midterm exams (students must take exams during scheduled class time)
  • Final Exam: no final exam
  • Remote invigilation: Yes


  • access to highspeed internet
  • computer with webcam



Molecular Biology of the Cell, 6th Ed., (2014), B. Alberts et al.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

  • 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 Accessible Learning (778-782-3112 or e-mail:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.

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Teaching at SFU in summer 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods, but we will continue to have in-person experiential activities for a selection of courses.  Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112).