The two ways our brain and skin cells age

2 Modules 6 Articles Easy

About this course

Cells get older and die. It is a process that takes place, sometimes over days, sometimes over years. 

In this course, I will cover how cells grow, mature, and then age and become senescent. I use the examples of neurons (dementia and ALS) and skin cells (aging skin) to illustrate the two ways that cells age.

Picture Credit: 

By Designua. Shutterstock ID: 235015666. Neurons and neuroglial cells. Glial cells are non-neuronal cells in brain. 

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Course Structure

5 Lessons

I. The three steps to becoming a neuron cell

Cells that age have to have mature proteins. 

These are the proteins that live in specialized cells. It is a benefit to become specialized. This is the way our cells can produce insulin or thyroid hormones or antibodies that fight infections.

Unfortunately, it is also how cells age. 

In this module, I will walk you through typical mature proteins and their defining characteristics. In future modules, I will discuss how cells age.  

1. Introduction

The goal for this course is to see a cell going from an immature baby-like state, to a mature adult state, to an elderly state. 

There are reasons that cells age: They accumulate a particular type of protein: a mature protein.

2. First step to becoming a neuron: Not dying

Immature cells - like stem cells - can undergo planned cell death. 

3. A table of R1 proteins

This article demonstrates a table of R1 and R2 proteins and the following attributes to these proteins: 

  1. The orientation of their NH2-terminal head and their COOH-terminal tail. 
  2. The primary location(s) of the R1  or R2 protein (which cell types harbor this type of protein)
  3. The primary localization of the R1 or R2 protein (where in the cell can this type of R1 protein be found)
  4. The ligand that binds to the NH2-terminal head


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Lessons will be added as they are completed. Two lessons will be added each week.