Cell Signaling
Tidbit Overview
Course: Introductory Cell Molecular Biology.
Unit title: Cell Signaling – The Original Social Networking.
Class enrollment: 25 – 250 freshman or sophomore
Student experience: Near the end of the term. Within the signal
transduction unit
Homework and pre-class assessment to encourage participation:
Review cell signaling (notes and previous class content) and turn in
written responses to LOC/HOC questions.
Sensing the Rainbow:
Demonstration of signal detection
and transduction
Nose pinched
Chew skittle
Let go of nose
What happens?
Sensing the Rainbow:
Demonstration of signal detection
and transduction
Nose pinched
Chew skittle
Let go of nose
What happens?
Olfaction detection is based on GPCRs -
Activity and Outcomes
• Activity: Dramatize a signal transduction
• Outcome: The students will be able to model
a hypothetical signal transduction pathway to
elicit a specific cellular response
What we want you to know and do
• Evaluate the G protein coupled receptor
• Identify key components of cell signaling
• Design a skit to illustrate the mechanics of the
• Predict how the pathway would change under
different conditions
Timing of Tidbit
0-2: Introduction and demonstration
2-7: In your NASI group evaluate your returned
homework (total 8 groups)
7-21: Two groups merge, to plan performance
(total 4 groups)
21-26: Combine 2 planning groups;
perform/critique (total 2 groups)
5 Min:
In your NASI groups look at your returned homework
Evaluate this piece of work using the following rubric:
13 Min:
•Two groups merge (now 4 groups in
•Create dramatization to illustrate
•Suggestion – divide the group into
performers and a director
5 Min: Dramatime!
Again pair with another group
Within pair, one group performs, the
other critiques (using Rubric provided)
the performance
Wild Card 1
Beta blocker – examples Inderal or Lopressor
• Blocks the binding
site for epinephrine
on the beta-receptor
• What is the effect on
your signaling
Wild Card 2: Caffeine
Inhibits the
phosphodiesterase that
breaks down cAMP.
How does this affect your
signaling pathway?
Wild Card 3 - Anthrax
One toxin in Anthrax (EF) Increases cAMP levels
Another (LF) triggers the
degradation of the kinase
further downstream
Student Outcomes
• Were you able to evaluate and construct a complete
signaling pathway based on other students’
• Were you able to create an accurate skit that showed
you learned the pathway?
• Did you see how altering the pathway affected signal
• Did acting out this cellular process deepen your
understanding of cell biology?
Professor Outcomes
• Did the students achieve the learning
– Modeling a hypothetical signal transduction
pathway that elicited a cellular response?
• Make notes in Teacher Diary of the
successes and problems with executing the

cell signaling, west coast 2013