01.10 Protein Synthesis & Nucleic Acids

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Included In This Lesson



  1. Nucleic Acids
    1. Deoxyribonucleix Acid (DNA)
      1. Double-stranded Helix
      2. Nucleotides consist of deoxyribose, phosphate and nitrogenous bases adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine (A,G,T,C)
      3. Stores genetic information
    2. Ribonucleic Acid (RNA)
      1. Single-stranded
      2. Nucleotides consist of ribose, phosphate and nitrogenous bases adenine, Uracil, guanine, cytosine (A,U,T,C)
      3. Transmits genetic information
    3. Protein Synthesis
      1. Transcription-RNA copies DNA’s message, leaves the nucleus and goes to a ribosome
      2. Translation-RNA’s message (bases) are read three letters at a time (codon) and then translated into a sequence of amino acids to make a polypeptide


Today we are going to discuss the role nucleic acids play in the production of proteins

So when we see another person, we are looking at protein or the result of proteins working. Whoever said beauty is skin deep is actually quite accurate… since everything living is inside!

So to begin this story I want to first review the basics of DNA and RNA. DNA has 2 strands, RNA one. Both are made out of the monomers called nucleotides. Here there are minor differences between the two. THe sugars are different and there’s one base that is different T in DNA, and U only in RNA. 

Functionally they server different roles as well. DNA stays safe in nucleus and stores the message. RNA’s job is to copy a gene (a portion of DNA) and translate the message into a sequence of amino acids.

So let’s review the process of synthesizing proteins in story form. The Cast of Characters are DNA- King, mRNA- Scribe, rRNA-local villager, tRNA-translator. There are 2 scenes of this play. It begins in the Nucleus and ends at the Ribosome.

In Act I, the king calls forth his messenger mRNA and declares he copy down his message and take it out to the ribosomal village. mRNA transcribes the king’s message (which is slightly different (U’s instead of A’s) and leaves the nucleus and this act ends at the ribosome.

Act II begins with the messenger at the ribosome (which is made up of rRNA). rRNA and mRNA need to get the message out to hte villagers but they only understand amino acid language. So mRNA calls in his translators tRNA and they come in a read the message 3 letters at a time and translate it into sequences of amino acids…. only to declare that a polypeptide has been made!

In summary, nucleic acids are both DNA & RNA and pare key players in protein production Protein synthesis occurs in 2 parts. Act I happens at the nucleus and King DNA gets his message copied by the messenger RNA. And Act II picks up at the ribosome where the message gets translated into amino acids resulting in a polypeptide!

Thank you for listening to my story about how cells produce proteins. Now go out and be your best self today and happy nursing.