DescriptionA key understanding in biology is that information in living things flows from genes to RNA to proteins. DNA is an important molecule found in all living things. Through a complex series of events, DNA controls the production of proteins that ultimately produce an organism's traits and allow the organism to function. Protein synthesis involves another molecule called RNA. RNA is responsible for taking the sequences encoded in DNA and making specific proteins. This progression from DNA that codes for RNA, which then makes proteins, is called the central dogma of biology. The function of proteins is dependent on the proteins' specific three-dimensional structure. There are several mechanisms that regulate which genes are active at any given time. This means an organism's protein profile can change as it moves through its life.
At A Glance
- The transfer of genetic information controlling the cell is from DNA to RNA to proteins.
- There are three main types of RNA involved in protein synthesis: mRNA, tRNA, and rRNA.
- The genetic code is universal and makes the flow of genetic information possible.
- Transcription transfers genetic information from the gene in DNA to RNA.
- Translation converts the coded sequence of RNA into proteins.
- Amino acids attached to specific tRNA molecules are bonded together to form a protein by the ribosome in the sequence encoded by the mRNA strand.
- Proteins undergo several changes before they are functional.
- There are differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic protein synthesis.
- Several factors regulate which genes are expressed at any given time.
- Prokaryotes regulate gene expression and protein production primarily at the mRNA level.
- Eukaryotes regulate gene expression through a wide variety of mechanisms including regulation of transcription and post-transcriptional modification of mRNA.