MadSci Network: Biochemistry

Re: Could you please explain protein synthesis for me in layman's terms?

Date: Thu Nov 4 10:40:39 1999
Posted By: Pamela Norton, faculty, Dept. of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson Univ.
Area of science: Biochemistry
ID: 940978661.Bc

I'll give this my best shot, although it would help to know just what part 
of protein synthesis, also refered to as "translation" is giving you 

	Information contained in DNA is converted into mRNA; each mRNA (M=
messenger) is the instruction set for the synthesis of one protein type. 
The machinery that constructs the protein is the ribosome. Using a set of 
tools call tRNAs, the information in the mRNA is decoded in sequential 
blocks, each block specifying one amino acid. The tRNA hands the right 
amino acid to the ribosome, which builds the protein chain by the addition 
of one amino acid at a time.

	A specific example. Let's say the mRNA sequence reads: 

 AUG GUC CCU GAA UCA AAU (U's in RNA are like T's in DNA)

	The ribosome and tRNAs know to decode this as:

  M   V   P   E   S   *

where the letters are the different amino acids that make up this little 
(imaginary) protein. The * means that the last bit of mRNA does not code 
for an amino acid, but acts like the period at the end of a sentence, 
signaling a stop.

Does this help?

Current Queue | Current Queue for Biochemistry | Biochemistry archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Biochemistry.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-1999. All rights reserved.