Genes to RNA to Proteins

Vocabulary

anticodon

a sequence of three nucleotides of a tRNA molecule that pair with the complement on an mRNA strand during protein synthesis

central dogma of biology

the concept that genetic information flows from DNA to RNA, and from RNA to proteins.

codon

a series of three nucleotides on an mRNA strand that codes for a particular amino acid

elongation

step in transcription and translation, addition of nucleotides to the growing mRNA transcript or addition of amino acids to the growing polypeptide chain

exon

DNA sequence within a gene sequence that codes for a specific protein, these must be combined during mRNA processing

intron

DNA sequence within a gene sequence that does not code for a specific protein, these must be removed from the mRNA during processing

messenger RNA (mRNA)

RNA molecule made from a DNA template, contains the complementary gene sequence, that is, the sequence opposite to the DNA strand

operon

in prokaryotes, a collection of genes that are transcribed together and contains at least two regions of control called a promoter and an operator

promoter

the sequence of DNA to which RNA polymerase binds to initiate the process of transcription

ribonucleic acid (RNA)

an organic molecule that carries genetic messages out of the nucleus; consists of a single strand of nucleic acids

ribosomal RNA (rRNA)

RNA component of ribosomes that catalyzes peptide bond formation

ribosome

a structure composed of RNA and protein that constructs proteins based on the instructions provided by DNA; may be free floating in cytoplasm or attached to form rough endoplasmic reticulum

sigma factor

the protein found in prokaryotes that binds to RNA polymerase in order to start the transcription process

signal sequence

amino acid sequence that determines the destination of a protein

spliceosome

large molecule made of RNA and proteins, removes introns and joins the adjacent exon ends to form the mature strand of mRNA

TATA box

the part of a eukaryotic promoter that binds a transcription factor (molecule that helps make RNA) and helps to initiate the process of transcription

termination

the end of transcription or translation of protein synthesis

transcription

the formation of mRNA from the template DNA strand to be used to build proteins

transcription factors

specialized proteins in eukaryotes that aid in transcription

transfer RNA (tRNA)

the molecule that carries each amino acid to the strand of mRNA during translation of protein synthesis

translation

the assembly of amino acids into proteins in the ribosomes through the reading of mRNA by tRNA and the ribosome