LECTURE 10 Details of Translation

LECTURE 10 Details of Translation - 2:010 Principles of...

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2:010 Principles of Biology Lecture10 Details of Translation Last lecture we outlined the flow of information in biological systems. Today we will go into more detail in a few of the steps of translation. We still have some major questions about translation that we have not addressed. How do the 3 nucleotides in an RNA codon specify an amino acid? These are 2 different languages and there may be a need for a translator. How does the ribosome perform the 3 steps of translation (initiation, elongation and termination)? Two hypotheses were proposed to explain how a triplet codon specifies an amino acid. In the first there is a direct interaction between the amino acid and the codon. Each codon creates a binding site which specifically recognizes a single amino acid like a lock being opened by only one key. However, chemists pointed out there is not enough variation in the structure of the codons to create 20 different binding sites and their chemistries are not compatible enough to form specific bonds. Many amino acids cannot form H-bonds with nucleotide bases, some amino acids are + and others are - while the bases are not charged.
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