Molecular Biology

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Course Code: 
Course Outline: 


An-Najah National University

Faculty of SciencesDepartment of Biology and Biotechnology



Course title & number

BIO 392: Molecular Biology- 392


Instructor(s) name(s)

Dr. Kamel Adwan

Contact information

office : 14G1530

Semester & academic year

Fall Semester 2010/2011

Compulsory / Elective

Compulsory Course


General Biology-24321, Genetics-24231 or consent of instructor

Course Description

Molecular Biology- 392 defines the molecules in cells, and describes the major molecular processes that lie behind most biological events (replication of DNA, transcription and processing of RNA, translation of genetic information into proteins), and emphasizes the techniques and experiments that lead to this information. The course will also provide the students with basic concepts and understanding of recombinant DNA technology.

Course Objectives

This course is about genes - their structure and function - therefore, students will study nucleic acid structure and the mechanics of replication, repair, transcription, and translation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. A central goal is understanding gene regulation at all levels. The course will also provide the students with basic concepts and understanding of understanding plasmids, cosmids, phages and transposable elements, especially as they apply to their utilization as tools of the molecular biologist in Recominant DNA technology.

Intended learning

Outcomes (ILO’s) and



At the end of this course student will be able to:

1. DNA as the genetic material, nucleotides, nucleic acid structure,

supercoiling, hybridization

2. DNA Replication: Basic mechanism & enzymology. Semidiscontinuous replication, replication strategies, prokaryotic and eukaryotic DNA polymerases, priming.

3.DNA Replication (cont.): elongation, DNA Pol III subunit functions, termination. DNA repair mechanisms

4.  Recombination and Transposition. Homologous recombination,

Holliday junction, RecBCD, RuvA, B, Site-specific recombination,


5. Gene structure and transcription in prokaryotes, E. coli RNA

polymerase, Initiation, functions of σ, elongation, termination

6. Operons, Major shifts in prokaryotic transcription, E. coli σ

subunits, B. subtilis sporulation

7. Eukaryotic transcription: RNA polymerases, promoters &

enhancers. Eukaryotic transcription factors - general & specific.

8. Origins of life in the 'RNA world.' RNA Processing: exons &

introns, splicing, spliceosomes, SNRPs.

RNA Processing: self-splicing introns, capping, polyadenylation.

9.RNA editing, trans-splicing, recently discovered small RNAs

10. Translation: translation initiation, the genetic code

11. Translation elongation and termination, ribosome & tRNA structure and function.

12. Basic of Cloning DNA:Endonucleases, Vectors,DNA Library and  Expression Vectors

13. Basic of Cloning DNA: Transformation Techniques- Insertion of Plasmids and Screening Libraries

14. Basic of Cloning DNA: Amplifying Genes - Polymerase Chain Reaction and DNA

Textbook & References


1. J D Watson et al, Molecular Biology of the Gene, 6/e. Benjamin/Cummings, 2007. ISBN 978-080539521-1.

2. H Lodish et al, Molecular Cell Biology, 6/e. Freeman, 2008. ISBN 978-0-716-77601-7. Web site: (Materials for 4th and 5th editions are also available there.

3. G M Cooper & R E Hausman, The Cell - A Molecular Approach. 5/e, 2009. ISBN 978-0-87893-300-6. Web site, with links keyed to the chapters:

4. Freifelder and Malacinski, Essentials of Molecular Biology.


Assignment Criteria


Percent (%)

First Hour Exam


Second Hour Exam


Final Exam