Week 1: Cellular Processes and the Genetic Environment

The mediation of cellular processes occurs through the actions of various biological molecules via biophysical or biochemical interactions. The regulation of cellular processes like DNA transcription, replication, and repair occurs through interactions between histone-modifying complexes and activities like methylation, phosphorylation, and acetylation (Muro, 2018). Histone modifications play a major role in cellular processes, and hence changes in histone modifications are connected to human diseases. Understanding the cellular processes thus aids in understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie human diseases (Johnson et al., 2019). For example, a mutation of the hub proteins could result in significantly more serious outcomes, thus leading to a serious disease.

The environment induces epigenetic changes that increase the risk of various diseases. Therefore, the environment can change health by directly or indirectly affecting proteins involved in turning genes on and off. For example, epigenetic factors such as DNA methylation and histone modifications can turn genes on and off and influence the transcription of proteins (McCance & Huether, 2019). The epigenetic factors may lead to changes that can lead to diseases like cancer. Additionally, the environment plays an important role in genetic changes and leading to common diseases. For example, environmental mutagens such as cigarette chemicals enter the body and make direct changes to the DNA sequence, while gene-gene interactions happen when environmental pollutants cause a chain reaction that affects the functioning of various genes (Johnson et al., 2019). Environmental pollutants also have an indirect effect on the DNA sequence by changing the transcription factors responsible for initiating genetic processes to make proteins necessary for various functions within the body (McCance & Huether, 2019). For example, stress can alter the level of proteins made by genes related to the immune system and hence stress may make someone susceptible to diseases.


Johnson, T. A., Jinnah, H. A., & Kamatani, N. (2019). Shortage of Cellular ATP as a Cause of Diseases and Strategies to Enhance ATP. Frontiers in pharmacology, 10, 98. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2019.00098

McCance, K. L. & Huether, S. E. (2019). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby/Elsevier.

Muro S. (2018). Alterations in Cellular Processes Involving Vesicular Trafficking and Implications in Drug Delivery. Biomimetics (Basel, Switzerland), 3(3), 19. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics3030019


One of the more common biology analogies refers to cells as the “building blocks” of life. This rightfully places an emphasis on understanding cells, cellular behavior, and the impact of the environment in which they function.
Such an understanding helps explain how healthy cell activity contributes to good health. Just as importantly, it helps explain how breakdowns in cellular behavior and alterations to cells lead to health issues.
This week, you examine cellular processes that are subject to alterations that can lead to disease. You evaluate the genetic environments within which these processes exist as well as the impact these environments have on disease.
Learning Objectives
Students will:
Evaluate cellular processes and alterations within cellular processes
Evaluate the impact of the genetic environment on disease
Learning Resources
Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)
McCance, K. L. & Huether, S. E. (2019). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby/Elsevier.
Chapter 1: Cellular Biology; Summary Review
Chapter 2: Altered Cellular and Tissue Biology: Environmental Agents (pp. 46-61; begin again with Manifestations of Cellular Injury pp. 83-97); Summary Review
Chapter 3: The Cellular Environment: Fluids and Electrolytes, Acids, and Bases
Chapter 4: Genes and Genetic Diseases (stop at Elements of formal genetics); Summary Review
Chapter 5: Genes, Environment-Lifestyle, and Common Diseases (stop at Genetics of common diseases); Summary Review
Chapter 7: Innate Immunity: Inflammation and Wound Healing
Chapter 8: Adaptive Immunity (stop at Generation of clonal diversity); Summary Review
Chapter 9: Alterations in Immunity and Inflammation (stop at Deficiencies in immunity); Summary Review
Chapter 10: Infection (pp. 289–303; stop at Infectious parasites and protozoans); (start at HIV); Summary Review
Chapter 11: Stress and Disease (stop at Stress, illness & coping); Summary Review
Chapter 12: Cancer Biology (stop at Resistance to destruction);Summary Review
Chapter 13: Cancer Epidemiology (stop at Environmental-Lifestyle factors); Summary Review
Justiz-Vaillant, A. A., & Zito, P. M. (2019). Immediate hypersensitivity reactions. In StatPearls. Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513315/
Credit Line: Immediate Hypersensitivity Reactions – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf. (2019, June 18). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513315/. Used with permission of Stat Pearls
Required Media (click to expand/reduce)
Module 1 Overview with Dr. Tara Harris
Dr. Tara Harris reviews the structure of Module 1 as well as the expectations for the module. Consider how you will manage your time as you review your media and Learning Resources throughout the module to prepare for your Discussion and Assignment. (4m)

Foundational Concepts of Cellular Pathophysiology – Week 1 (14m)

Immunity and Inflammation

Khan Academy (2010, February 24). Inflammatory response | Human anatomy and physiology | Health & medicine [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXSuEIMrPQk
Note: The approximate length of the media program is 14 minutes.
Soo, P. (2018, July 28). Pathophysiology Ch 10 alterations in immune function [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz0wx1-jTds
Note: The approximate length of the media program is 37 minutes.
Acid-Base Balance #1

MedCram. (2012, April 28). Medical acid base balance, disorders & ABGs explained clearly [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wMEMhvrQxE
Note: The approximate length of the media program is 13 minutes.
Acid-Base Balance #2

MedCram. (2012, April 29). Medical acid base balance, disorders & ABGs explained clearly | 2 of 8 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmEeKVTpOKI
Note: The approximate length of the media program is 15 minutes.


MedCram. (2017, December 23). Hyponatremia explained clearly (remastered) – Electrolyte imbalances [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLajK5Vy55M
Note: The approximate length of the media program is 15 minutes.
Online Media from Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children
In addition to this week’s media, it is highly recommended that you access and view the resources included with the course text, Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children. Focus on the videos and animations in Chapters 3, 7, and 8 that relate to alterations in immunity, hyponatremia, and acid/base balance.
Note: To access the online resources included with the text, you need to complete the FREE online registration that is located at https://evolve.elsevier.com/cs/store?role=student
To Register to View the Content
Go to https://evolve.elsevier.com/cs/store?role=student
Enter the name of the textbook, Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children, or ISBN 9780323654395 (name of text without the edition number) in the Search textbox.
Complete the registration process.
To View the Content for This Text
Go to https://evolve.elsevier.com/
Click on Student Site.
Type in your username and password.
Click on the Login button.
Click on the plus sign icon for Resources on the left side of the screen.
Click on the name of the textbook for this course.
Expand the menu on the left to locate all the chapters.
Navigate to the desired content (checklists, videos, animations, etc.).
Note: Clicking on the URLs in the APA citations for the Resources from the textbook will not link directly to the desired online content. Use the online menu to navigate to the desired content.
Discussion: Alterations in Cellular Processes

Photo Credit: Getty Images
At its core, pathology is the study of disease. Diseases occur for many reasons. But some, such as cystic fibrosis and Parkinson’s Disease, occur because of alterations that prevent cells from functioning normally.
Understanding of signals and symptoms of alterations in cellular processes is a critical step in diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. For the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), this understanding can also help educate patients and guide them through their treatment plans.
For this Discussion, you examine a case study and explain the disease that is suggested. You examine the symptoms reported and explain the cells that are involved and potential alterations and impacts.
To prepare:
By Day 1 of this week, you will be assigned to a specific scenario for this Discussion. Please see the “Course Announcements” section of the classroom for your assignment from your Instructor.
By Day 3 of Week 1
Post an explanation of the disease highlighted in the scenario you were provided. Include the following in your explanation:
The role genetics plays in the disease.
Why the patient is presenting with the specific symptoms described.
The physiologic response to the stimulus presented in the scenario and why you think this response occurred.
The cells that are involved in this process.
How another characteristic (e.g., gender, genetics) would change your response.

Scenario 4: A 27-year-old patient with a history of substance abuse is found unresponsive by emergency medical services (EMS) after being called by the patient’s roommate. The roommate states that he does not know how long the patient had been lying there. Patient received naloxone in the field and has become responsive. He complains of burning pain over his left hip and forearm. Evaluation in the ED revealed a large amount of necrotic tissue over the greater trochanter as well as the forearm. EKG demonstrated prolonged PR interval and peaked T waves. Serum potassium level 6.9 mEq/L.



Remember this is an ADVANCED PATHOPHYSIOLOGY course so you must address the content at the cellular level. This is a requirement in this course.
Make sure that all your work is submitted in APA format
Review proper quotes, paraphrasing
You MUST avoid plagiarism and be sure that you are giving credit to those who provided you the information. If it’s a quote, then quote it!!
You should expect to have citations for almost all your sentences.
You must DEVELOP YOUR PARAGRAPHS WELL, 5-6 sentences each with citations – at this point in your academic career.
READ the instructions and make sure that you are addressing each of the asked for components and place headings to make it obvious to the reader
READ the rubric – you must have references to get the points and if you don’t have the references you also loose points for analysis and synthesis because you can’t do this without validated content.
Note: I expect you to provide a minimum of 3 references for each of your initial peer post and all assignments. This is what provides validity to your work. Your peer responses can have two references instead and that is acceptable.

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