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 Molecular Biology

1. Molecular biology

  • Cell growth cycle.
  • Replication, transcription, translation.
  • DNA and RNA structure and function.
  • Plasmids, vectors and transfection.
  • Gene expression, promoters, enhancers.
  • Basic techniques and assays (Western blot, Northern blot, polymerase chain reaction, in vitro transcription assay, in situ hybridization).
  • Basic terms in molecular biology.

2. Molecular diagnostics

  • Aims.
  • Techniques.
  • Indications.

3. Molecular biology in the treatment of vascular disease

  • Gene therapy (systemic and local) including methods and indications.
  • Cell therapy (ex vivo gene therapy).
  • Therapy with recombinant protein.
  • Ethical considerations.


Alberts B. Molecular biology of the cell. New York : Garland Science, 2002.

This landmark textbook in the field of molecular cell biology summarizes a wide range of knowledge from a basic discussion of cells, genomes and cell chemistry to recent advances in biotechnology, cellular mechanisms, infection and immunity.

Pang CP. Molecular diagnostics for cardiovascular disease. Clin Chem Lab Med 1998;36:605-614.

The etiology of cardiovascular diseases is known to be multi-factorial. Some of them are causes by environmental factors, some others by specific gene defects, while others result from complex gene-environment interactions. This review article presents molecular diagnostic techniques that have been applied for rapid and reliable detection of specific gene defects. These techniques can provide unequivocal diagnosis beneficial for appropriate drug therapy and genetic counseling.

Morishita R. Recent progress in gene therapy for cardiovascular disease. Circ J 2002;66:1077-1086.

Gene therapy is emerging as a potential strategy for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, such as peripheral arterial s=disease, ischaemic heart disease, restenosis after angioplasty, vascular bypass graft occlusion and transplant coronary vasculopathy, for which no known effective therapy exists. This review presents recent progress in gene therapy for cardiovascular disease.

Richter G, Bacchetta MD. Interventions in the human genome: some moral and ethical considerations. J Med Philos 1998;23:303-317.

This paper discusses the need for development of a new framework for the ethical discussion of genetic interventions into the human genome. It also presents the core arguments for the acceptance of somatic gene therapy and those for the rejection of genetic interventions into germ-line cells.

Hiltunen MO, Turunen MP, Laitinen M, Yla-Herttuala S. Insights into the molecular pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and therapeutic strategies using gene transfer. Vasc Med 2000;5:41-48.

Gene transfer to the vascular system can be performed both via intravascular and extravascular periadventitial routes. This review describes both of these techniques, their aims and initial results.

Posted June 2010