The Key Players: Exploring mRNA and tRNA in Protein Synthesis

The Key Players: Exploring mRNA and tRNA in Protein Synthesis


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  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 31 Jan,2024

mRNA (messenger RNA) and tRNA (transfer RNA) are essential players in the process of protein synthesis,

which occurs in two main steps: transcription and translation.

Here I am explaining the roles of mRNA and tRNA in protein synthesis.

mRNA (Messenger RNA):

Role: Information Carrier

  1. Transcription: During transcription, in the nucleus, mRNA is formed as an exact copy of a specific gene’s DNA sequence; carrying the genetic information from the DNA to cytoplasmic ribosomes.
  2. Coding for Proteins: The nucleotide sequence of mRNA contains codons which are three-nucleotide sequences that code for specific amino acids or act as start/stop signals. Each amino acid has its own codon on the mRNA.
  3. Transfer of Genetic Information: In other words, translation occurs in the cytoplasm where it carries these genetic instructions from DNA in the nucleus to ribosomes.

tRNA (Transfer RNA):

Role: Amino Acid Carrier

  1. Amino Acid Transport: This is a process where tRNA transports amino acids during protein synthesis into ribosomes. There is one kind of tRNA molecule corresponding to each type of amino acid.
  2. Anticodon Recognition: The tRNA has an anticodon region that consists of a three nucleotide sequence complementary to the mRNA codon so that it can recognize and bind with its specific amino acid corresponding to the mRNA codon.
  3. Building the Polypeptide Chain: Once attached to an mRNA codon, a peptide bond forms between polypeptide chain and an attached amino acid carried by tRNA because of catalytic action by ribosome after which this transfer RNA is discarded and succession continues when ribosome moves along with messenger RNA molecule.
  4. Reading the Genetic Code: With its anticodon region, this protein synthesis component translates information encoded in mRNA codons into growing polypeptide chain’s amino acid sequence.

In summary, while acting as a messenger taking genetic code from DNA to ribosomes thereby dictating the sequence of proteins’ amino acids, mRNA serves such purposes; however, tRNA is like adapter macromolecule connecting correct subunits for protein synthesis on the ribosomes and ensuring exact translation of the mRNA code into a working polypeptide chain. Consequently, accurate and efficient protein synthesis in cells involves interaction between these macromolecules.

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