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Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay

Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay

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At its core, pathology is the study of disease. Dis eases occur for many reasons. But some, such as cystic fibrosis and Parkinson’s Disease, occur because of alterations that prevent cells from functioning normally. Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay


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. Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay

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. Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay

Week 1: Cellular Processes and the Genetic Environment
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. Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay

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 Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay
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
Credit Line: Immediate Hypersensitivity Reactions – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf. (2019, June 18). Retrieved from Used with permission of Stat Pearls
Required Media (click to expand/reduce) Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay

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)
Accessible player –Downloads–Download Video w/CCDownload AudioDownload Transcript
Immunity and Inflammation
Khan Academy (2010, February 24). Inflammatory response | Human anatomy and physiology | Health & medicine [Video file]. Retrieved from
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
Note: The approximate length of the media program is 37 minutes. Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay
Acid-Base Balance #1
MedCram. (2012, April 28). Medical acid base balance, disorders & ABGs explained clearly [Video file]. Retrieved from
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
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
Note: The approximate length of the media program is 15 minutes.
Online Media from Pathophysiology: The Biologic Basis for Disease in Adults and Children Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay
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.


Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the body is unable to control blood glucose levels adequately, resulting in high blood glucose levels (hyperglycaemia). Symptoms include frequent urination due to the osmotic effect of excess glucose in the urine, thirst due to loss of fluids and weight loss. Possible long-term complications of diabetes if blood glucose has been poorly controlled include cardiovascular disease (such as atherosclerosis and stroke) and damage to nerves, the kidney and eyes, which can potentially lead to blindness. Diabetes is a major health problem with an estimated 425 million people affected worldwide, and these numbers are predicted to rise. The rise in numbers is associated with an increase in obesity in the population and treating the complications is a major healthcare cost. In the U.K., some estimates predict the cost could reach 17% of the NHS budget. Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay

Most people will be familiar with the classification of diabetes into the two main forms, Type 1 and Type 2; however, it is increasingly clear that there are in fact several different types of diabetes, some of which overlap to some extent. Recent research analysing nearly 15000 diabetics showed they could be clustered into five distinct groups based on specific biomarkers1 of the condition, which is significant because this better classification system may lead to improved treatment strategies in the future. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which cells of the body’s immune system cause destruction of insulin secreting β-cells in the pancreas, leading to a deficiency of insulin production. There are typically antibodies against key pancreatic proteins involved in insulin storage and secretion. It is a relatively rare form of the disease affecting 5–10% of diabetics, which is usually diagnosed in childhood and is not associated with excess body weight. Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of the disease, affecting 90–95% of diabetics, and is characterised by a loss of ability to respond to insulin (i.e. there is insulin resistance, also termed as insulin insensitivity). At diagnosis, individuals are typically over 30 years old, overweight, have high blood pressure and an unhealthy lipid profile (referred to as the metabolic syndrome). Established disease is associated with hypersecretion of insulin, but this is still inadequate to restore normal blood glucose levels, and the condition may progress towards insulin deficiency. The causes of diabetes are thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors, and it is recognised that being overweight is a strong risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes. Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay

Insulin action
In healthy individuals, blood glucose levels range between 3.5 and 5.5 mmol/l before meals. This range is maintained by the actions of hormones (primarily insulin and glucagon, but also adrenaline, cortisol and growth hormone) which control the production and uptake of glucose, levels of glycogen (the stored form of glucose), and fat and protein metabolism, as required following meals, during fasting and exercise. Both insulin and glucagon are polypeptides produced by the pancreas (β-cells – insulin; α-cells – glucagon). Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay

Insulin is secreted in response to an increase in blood glucose levels and its overall effect is to store chemical energy by enhancing the uptake and storage of glucose, amino acids and fats; consequently reducing blood glucose levels, via actions on liver, muscle and adipose tissue (specifically adipocytes – fat cells). Glucagon, on the other hand, via a complex interplay with other hormones and the nervous system increases blood glucose by stimulating the breakdown of glycogen, fat and protein. When blood glucose is high, after a meal for example, insulin acts on the liver to decrease glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis), increase glucose utilisation (glycolysis) and increases glycogen synthesis (glycogenesis). When the storage capacity for glycogen is reached, insulin increases synthesis of fatty acids (lipogenesis), via acetyl CoA as an intermediate, which is then exported for triglyceride synthesis in adipocytes. In muscle, insulin stimulates uptake of glucose, by recruiting the glucose uptake transporter type 4 (GLUT-4), and enhances glycogen synthesis and glycolysis. In adipose tissue, there is facilitated uptake of glucose which is metabolised to glycerol and subsequently used together with fatty acids to synthesise triglycerides. Insulin also inhibits pathways involved in lipolysis. In addition, insulin increases amino acid uptake and protein synthesis in muscle and is considered an anabolic hormone (i.e. one that builds up organs and tissues). Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay

At the biochemical level, insulin produces its effects by binding to the insulin receptor – a cell surface glycoprotein composed of two extracellular α subunits and two β subunits that span the membrane (Figure 1). The receptor has tyrosine kinase activity (i.e. enzyme activity that catalyses the transfer of a phosphate group from ATP to a tyrosine amino acid within a protein, also known as tyrosine phosphorylation). Binding of insulin to the receptor initially causes tyrosine phosphorylation of the receptor itself, and then phosphorylation of intracellular proteins termed as insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 and IRS-2, followed by a complex series of intracellular signalling events involving many other kinases that lead to the physiological changes in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism discussed above via changes in gene expression and the activity of metabolic enzymes. The effects of insulin on glucose uptake are mediated via the glucose transporter GLUT-4, which is stored in intracellular vesicles in an inactive state, and insulin stimulates the movement of these vesicles to the plasma membrane where GLUT-4 becomes inserted into the membrane forming a pore that allows glucose uptake into the cell Alterations in Cellular Processes Essay

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