You are on page 1of 32

Transcription and

Translation: from
DNA to trait

How Are Different Types of Cells Created and Maintained?
Differential gene expression allows cells to do different
things.
The same genetic information is in all 100 trillion cells of any
one person. Different cells use the same blueprint in different
ways. How do they do this?
In essence, the control of gene
expression occurs by regulating
the flow of information from DNA
to protein.
DNA
Transcription Translation
Trait RNA Protein
The Central Dogma of Molecular Genetics
RNA processing
The Central Dogma
Review
DNA RNA
Proteins
Made up of 4
different
nucleotides
Made up of 4
different
nucleotides
Made up of
20 different
amino acids
RNA
RNA is a nucleic acid polymer that uses a slightly different sugar than
DNA and the base uracil (U) in place of thymine (T).
RNA Is Single-Stranded
Gene Expression in
Prokaryotes vs. Eukaryotes
Transcription
and translation
may occur
simultaneously
Transcription and translation are
separated in time and space
The Genetic Code
Problem: How do only 4 different nucleotides
code for the 20 amino acids that make up
proteins?
Solution: Each group of 3 nucleotides codes
for a different amino acid. These 3
nucleotide units are called codons.
DNA RNA Amino Acid
C
A
T
G
U
A
Valine
Reading Frame
The 3-nucleotide
units (codons)
must be read in
the correct
reading frame
Start codons
determine
the reading
frame
The Genetic Code Dictionary
There are
multiple codons
for each amino
acid
AUG is always
the start
codon
UAA, UGA, and
UAG are stop
codons
Transcription
DNA is used to make a strand of RNA
called the primary transcript (pre-mRNA)
The pre-mRNA is
further processed to
create the finished
mRNA
mRNA exits the
nucleus to be
translated
Transcription
3 main steps
1. Initiation
2. Elongation
3. Termination
Transcription Initiation
RNA polymerase binds to DNA at a region
called the promoter
RNA polymerase unwinds the DNA and adds
nucleotides in the 5 3 direction
Transcription Elongation
RNA polymerase moves along the DNA strand,
adding 60 nucleotides/sec
DNA strands
rejoin after
polymerase
passes by
Transcription Termination
Polymerase stops
when it reaches a
DNA sequence called
the terminator
The mRNA has
been completely
transcribed
In eukaryotes, this
is pre-mRNA and
must be further
processed
mRNA Processing
In eukaryotes, pre-mRNA must be further processed to
mRNA before it leaves the nucleus
GTP is added to 5 end,
forming the 5 cap
100s of adenines are added to
3 end, forming the poly-A tail
Non-coding regions of RNA are spliced out
Introns (non-coding
sequences) are cut
out by spliceosomes.
Leaving only Exons
(Coding sequences)
making up the mRNA
that leaves the
nucleus.
In some genes more
than 90% of the pre-
mRNA is destroyed,
never to appear in
the mRNA.


Alternative splicing patterns means one gene can make
more than one protein
This has the consequence that the count of our genes
(~20,000) is far lower than the count of our different
proteins.

Translation
The process in which mRNA is used to make
proteins
Occurs in the cytoplasm using ribosomes
Requires tRNA bound to amino acid
3 steps: initiation, elongation, termination
What Translation Accomplishes
In translation, information present in the mRNA is read by the ribosome to
synthesize a polypeptide.
The sequence of amino acids
determines the structure, and
therefore the function, of a
protein.
Amino Acids What the Genetic
Code Specifies
Two examples
There are 20 different amino acids
tRNA
A clover-shaped RNA
molecule
Structure of
tRNA
3 end of tRNA
binds to
specific amino
acids
Anti-codon on
tRNA
complements
mRNA codon
tRNA Synthesis
RNA is made in the
nucleus
Amino acids float
free in the
cytoplasm
Aminoacyl-tRNA
synthase joins each
amino acid to the
appropriate tRNA
Ribosomes
2 subunits of each
ribosome (large and
small)
Composed of
proteins and rRNA
3 tRNA
binding
sites
Translation: Initiation
mRNA, tRNA and small
ribosomal subunit bind
with the P site at the
start codon
Large subunit
binds using
energy from GTP
Translation: Elongation
mRNA is read 3 nucleotides at a time (codons)
tRNA brings corresponding amino acid into the A site of the
ribosome

Ribosome catalyzes dehydration synthesis
reaction between amino acids in P site and A site

Growing polypetpide now attached to tRNA in A
site

Ribosome moves forward one codon

Free tRNA in P site exits out the back of ribosome

tRNA (with polypeptide) moves into P site
Translation: Termination
Elongation continues until reaching a stop codon
Release factor binds and hydrolyzes the bond
between the last tRNA and its amino acid,
freeing the new protein
The Genetic Code is Biologys Rosetta Stone
These are the words of the genetic language.
Gene
Expression:
Overview