MBV9230 – Eukaryotic transcription factors - structures, function, regulation

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course focus on current understanding of the structure and function of eukaryotic transcription factors. The aim of the first general part is to give the student an understanding of the main components of the eukaryotic transcription apparatus. Topics covered are:RNA polymerase , mechanisms for transcriptional activation, architectural transcription factors, repressors of transcription, role of chromatin structure in transcription and regulation of the activity of transcription factors (signal transduction and posttranslational modifications). In the second part, specific translational factors are discussed: homeodomain and POU families, bZIP- and HLH-families, zinc-finger families, CREB families, the NFkB-family, nuclear receptors, the Myb-family, STAT family, Ets family, p53 and Rb to illustrate the connection between oncogenesis and transcription. The course is primarily for dr.scient. and Ph.D. students, but can also be useful for master students in biochemistry, biotechnology and cell biology

Learning outcome

You will learn to understand central aspects of the complex structure and function of the transcription apparatus which regulates the expression of genes in eucaryotic cells. You should also be able have the basis for understanding resent research the field of eukaryotic transcription.


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.


Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor degree in molecular biology/biochemistry and/or admission to Master program in molecular bioscience or equivalent background, MBV4010 – Methods in molecular biology and biochemistry I (continued), MBV4020 – Methods in molecular biology and biochemistry II (continued), MBV3040 – Biochemistry of the nucleic acids (discontinued) or corresponding knowledge.


20 lectures and 10 student seminars are concentrated over 3 weeks  in october.


Final three hour written exam appr. two weeks after the end of the course.(Optional oral exam depending on the number of participants.)

In addition to the short paper presentation already included in the course you must give an individual presentation/ seminar over a given subject. This must be approved to qualify for the exam.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)