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What is the function of transfer RNA?

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Quick Answer

Transfer RNA, or tRNA, is responsible for decoding another type of RNA, messenger RNA or mRNA, in order to carry out the process of protein synthesis. Different types of tRNA exist, each of which communicates with a specific amino acid.

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Full Answer

Protein synthesis, or protein biosynthesis, is a process by which cells create new proteins in order to replace those lost through degeneration and transportation. Each protein, by definition, requires a specific chain of amino acids bound together. This takes place by assembling each protein by ribosomes. There are three types of RNA, or ribonucleic acid, which carry out this function: messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA) and ribosomal RNA (rRNA).

tRNA plays an essential role in the second step of protein synthesis, known as translation. This step, which occurs in the cytoplasm of a cell, translates genetic information from DNA form to protein form.

There are 20 different types of tRNA, one specific to each type of amino acid. Every tRNA molecule has its associated amino acid attached to the end of it. The tRNA helps the amino acid join the chain by recognizing and binding it to the proper codon. It then decodes the related mRNA molecule in order to translate the DNA sequence into a complete protein.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are codons and anticodons?

    A:

    In the production of proteins, codons refer to the three-base segments in messenger ribonucleic acid or mRNA, while anticodons are the three-base segments in transfer RNA or tRNA. The ribosomes, which are the structural sites for protein synthesis, direct the base pairing of the anticodons in tRNA with the codons in mRNA. The codons function by identifying the particular amino acids to be used for protein synthesis, and the anticodons are responsible for the proper placement of the correct amino acid on the ribosomes.

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  • Q:

    What is an anticodon part of?

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    An anticodon is part of a transfer RNA molecule abbreviated tRNA for short. The anticodon consists of 3 nucleotides that match the base pairs of a specific codon on messenger RNA. The other end of a tRNA molecule carries one of the 20 amino acids used to build proteins.

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  • Q:

    Which enzyme is responsible for RNA synthesis?

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    RNA synthesis is performed by an enzyme called RNA polymerase. Synthesis begins when the RNA polymerase approaches the promoter gene, produces a single-stranded DNA template, and starts to move along the strand of DNA toward the operator region.

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  • Q:

    How do you compare and contrast DNA and RNA?

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    DNA and RNA are somewhat similar organic molecules, both involved in the storage and transfer of genetic information. According to About.com, DNA’s primary function is to store genetic information over the long term, while RNA’s primary function is to transfer this information to the ribosomes, where proteins are made. Because they perform different functions, they have different structures, chemistry and characteristics.

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