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How does protein synthesis work?

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Quick Answer

Protein synthesis begins with the transcription of DNA into messenger RNA in the nucleus. After transcription, the messenger RNA reaches the ribosome where it is translated into amino acids. A chain of these amino acids, known as the polypeptide chain, forms the protein.

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Full Answer

DNA contains instructions for synthesizing the body proteins. Proteins are synthesized in the ribosome. Messenger RNA is responsible for carrying instructions from the DNA in the nucleus to the ribosome. Following the rules of base pairing, nucleotides are transcribed from the double-stranded DNA onto single-stranded messenger RNA. Before leaving the nucleus, introns are removed from the messenger RNA and the remaining exons are spliced together. Introns are non-coding regions of DNA and have no known purpose. Exon is the term for coded information essential for protein creation.

After traveling through the nucleus to the ribosome, messenger RNA is translated into one amino acid for each codon. A codon is a set of three nucleotides. Transfer RNA uses anticodons to find the chemicals in the body necessary to create a specific amino acid for each codon. It brings this amino acid back to the ribosome to be linked with other amino acids into polypeptide chains. The order of amino acids in the polypeptide chain determines the type of protein created.

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