|MadSci Network: Biochemistry|
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 trouble. 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?
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