Translation of mRNA

The process of translation in the ribosome.

The process of translation in the ribosome.
Image from Wikimedia Commons, and is in Public Domain

The translation of messenger RNA (mRNA) into proteins is the third stage of protein synthesis. The mRNA strand, which is a copy of a segment of DNA produced in transcription, is translated by the ribosome into an amino acid chain. This string of amino acids is called a polypeptide and becomes a protein after proper folding by the chaperone.

Once the mRNA, which is produced by transcription, reaches the ribosome, transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules follow the instructions encoded on the mRNA to produce a polypeptide. As you should already know, DNA and RNA consists of ‘words’ called codons which are themselves made up of three ‘letters’ called bases. Now tRNA can be visualized as having a codon on one end and an amino acid on the other. When the mRNA passes through the ribosome, tRNA will bind to the corresponding codon on the mRNA, adding its amino acid to the growing chain (actually, the tRNA contains the anticodon of that on the mRNA). Once a stop codon is reached in the mRNA, tRNA can no longer bind and translation stops. The polypeptide is released to be folded into a protein.

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