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Lascano, Mary Joyce Ann P.

MT14216

Ribosomal RNA:
What Is rRNA?
To begin, ribonucleic acids (RNA) are a group of large molecules that have
many different roles. They are especially important in the coding, decoding,
regulation, and expression of our genes. As the name implies,ribosomal
RNA (rRNA) is part of the ribosome. A ribosome is the protein builder
cell. The rest of a ribosome is made up of proteins. In addition, there
are two rRNA in each ribosome, one in the large subunit and one in
the small subunit.

of the

Chemical Structure
Ribosomal RNA generally represents more than 80% of the total
RNA present in cells. It is represented by a highly folded filament of
RNA which may measure up to 7000 A in extended forms. Protein molecules are usually attached to this
r-RNA filament. About 60% of total r-RNA (both 28S and 18S) presents a helical configuration like
DNA, but its base composition is not like that of Watson Crick Model of DNA.
The rRNA contains specific number of methyl groups. At least a portion of RNA contains
intramolecular hydrogen bonds. Regions of the molecule in the form of hairpin loops forming two
stranded helices. Of course, the configuration of rRNA in solution may not be the same as its
configuration, where it is associated with ribosomal protein.
Ribosomal RNA is found in three forms: In
eukaryotic cells, the RNAs are larger and
18S is found in small subunit, and 28S and
5S in the larger subunit. Eukaryotic
ribosomes also have an extra small RNA,
which is called 5.8S RNA and it is
transcribed in the nucleolus as a single unit
along with 18S and 28S RNA. 5S RNA is
synthesized outside the nucleolus.
Whereas in prokaryotes three RNA
molecules are 16S RNA in the small
subunit, and 23S and 5S in the large
subunit. The 30S and 50S ribosomal
subunits associate to form 70S ribosomes
only when they are involved in protein
synthesis. The 70S ribosomes frequently
form clusters called polysomes.
The 28S ribosomal RNA lies in 60S
subunits of the ribosomes having mol. wt.

Lascano, Mary Joyce Ann P.


MT14216
of 1.3 106daltons and another 18S rRNA is found in 40S subunits having mol. wt. 0.6 10 6 daltons. 5S
rRNA usually consists of 12 nucleotides thus a very small molecule.
In eukaryotic cells, ribosomes may be free or attached to the ER. It appears that ribosomes attached to ER
are active in protein synthesis, while free ribosomes are not active in protein synthesis.

Function
Translation is the name of the process our cells use to make proteins. Ribosomes are the organelles that can
take a copy of our genetic material and translate it into a protein. The original genetic material is DNA, and it
is stored in the cell's nucleus. When a specific protein is needed, our cells make a copy of the DNA. This copy
is also RNA, but it is called messenger RNA or mRNA. Thus, ribosomes translate mRNA into protein.
To make a protein, ribosomes link together amino acids. The mRNA has the specific order in which the amino
acids must be joined, and each protein has a different order of amino acids. The small subunit of rRNA can
read the order of amino acids. Linking amino acids together is the function of the rRNA in the large subunit of
the ribosome.

Sequence
The sequence of rRNA is highly complex and derived from multiple genes. The table summarizes the
components of the large and small subunit rRNA. Sedimentation rate (S) of the subunit is affected by the size
of each subunit. As you can see, the large subunit of rRNA is made of two smaller pieces, while the small
subunit is only one piece. The structure of the small subunit of eukaryotic rRNA has been discovered.

Synthesis
All RNA molecules are created by transcription, or making a copy of DNA. The protein that makes a copy of
DNA is RNA polymerase. This protein is an enzyme that can read DNA and make an RNA copy.
Transcription starts when the RNA polymerase enzyme binds DNA at a specific location called a promoter.
Promoters are found 'upstream' of a gene. RNA polymerase reads the DNA in only one direction and continues
reading and creating RNA until it reaches the end of the gene. The end of the gene has a special region called
a stop codon

Lascano, Mary Joyce Ann P.


MT14216

Transfer RNA
What Is tRNA?
Transfer RNA, or tRNA, is a member of a nucleic acid
family called ribonucleic acids. RNA molecules are
comprised of nucleotides, which are small building blocks
for both RNA and DNA. tRNA has a very specific purpose:
to bring protein subunits, known as amino acids, to the
ribosome where proteins are constructed.
One of the discoverers of DNA, Francis Crick, first
suggested the existence of tRNA. At the time, scientists
knew that genetic information was kept in the nucleus as
DNA and that DNA carried the instructions on how to make
proteins. DNA doesn't leave the nucleus though, so our cells
make a copy of the DNA called messenger RNA,
or mRNA.
mRNA leaves the nucleus and is bound by ribosomes, the
molecular machines that act as the factory that makes proteins. Scientists understood that while
DNA and RNA have almost the same alphabet, proteins are very different. Francis Crick
proposed that there must be a small molecule capable of translating mRNA into proteins. Other
scientists proved his theory with the discovery of tRNA.

Chemical Components & Synthesis


Transfer ribonucleic acid (tRNA), which is primarily transcribed from tRNA genes by RNA
polymerase, matures via several steps: processing, splicing, CCA addition and post
transcriptional modifications. Primary transcripts of tRNA genes contain extra 5 and 3
sequences, which are removed by a set of nucleases. In addition, some primary transcripts
contain introns, which are spliced out by specific endonucleases or in selfsplicing reactions. The
ligation of exons generally requires a tRNA ligase. In some species, the CCA sequences present
at the 3termini of all mature tRNAs are not encoded in the tRNA genes, but are added post
transcriptionally by a CCAadding enzyme. All mature tRNA molecules contain modified
nucleotides, generated by specific tRNA modification enzymes or guide RNA systems. These
modified nucleotides are involved in stabilisation of tRNA structure, decoding, tRNA quality
control, regulation of subcellular localisation of tRNAs and immune responses against infectious
organisms.

Lascano, Mary Joyce Ann P.


MT14216

Functions of tRNA
The job of tRNA is to read the message
of nucleic acids, or nucleotides, and
translate it into proteins, or amino
acids. The process of making a protein
from an mRNA template is
called translation.
How does tRNA read the mRNA? It
reads the mRNA in three-letter
nucleotide sequences called codons.
Each individual codon corresponds to
an amino acid. There are four
nucleotides in mRNA. If you do the math to figure out how many different codons exist, you
arrive at 64, or four cubed (4^3). There is one tRNA molecule for each and every codon.
Interestingly, there are only 21 amino acids. This brings up the idea that our genetic code is
redundant. That is, we have 64 codons but only 21 amino acids. How do we resolve this? More
than one codon can specify for an amino acid.
This table (Figure 2) shows all the combinations of nucleic acids, or codons, as well as which
amino acid is specified by which codon. As you can see, not every amino acid has four codons.
In fact, methionine only has one.
Notice, however, that each codon has only one corresponding amino acid. Thus we say that the
genetic code is redundant, but not ambiguous. For example, the codons GUU, GUC, GUA, and
GUG all code for Valine (redundancy), and none of them specify any other amino acid (no
ambiguity).

Lascano, Mary Joyce Ann P.


MT14216

Messenger RNA
What is mRNa?
Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a large family
of RNA molecules that convey genetic
information from DNA to the ribosome, where they specify
the amino acid sequence of the protein products of gene
expression. Following transcription of primary
transcript mRNA (known as pre-mRNA) by RNA
polymerase, processed, mature mRNA is translated into a
polymer of amino acids: a protein, as summarized in the central
of molecular biology.

dogma

As in DNA, mRNA genetic information is in the sequence of nucleotides, which are arranged
into codons consisting of threebases each. Each codon encodes for a specific amino acid, except
the stop codons, which terminate protein synthesis. This process of translation of codons into
amino acids requires two other types of RNA: Transfer RNA (tRNA), that mediates recognition

Lascano, Mary Joyce Ann P.


MT14216
of the codon and provides the corresponding amino acid, and ribosomal RNA (rRNA), that is the
central component of the ribosome's protein-manufacturing machinery.

Chemical Composition & Synthesis of mRNA


The synthesis of mRNA, or messenger RNA, (ribonucleic acid), is called transcription. This
process occurs inside cells for the purpose of building proteins that are ess ential for the bodys
energy and metabolic requirements. mRNAs are substances that are actually copies of DNA
which contain all of the genetic information. They are called messengers because of their
function in terms of transporting the copied genetic information from the nucleus to the other
parts of the cell in order to build proteins. The major difference between DNA synthesis and
mRNA synthesis is that the former results in two-strand copies while the latter involves only one
strand or copy of the genetic material.
Transcription, or mRNA synthesis,
basically starts with setting DNA as
the master copy. Synthesis will only
start if the enzyme called RNA
polymerase is present. Upon the
action of this enzyme, the geneticallycoiled DNA will uncoil and provide
one if its strands as the master copy
for replication. After the replication
of the DNA strand, messenger RNA is
now formed, and this contains a copy
of the genetic material contained in
the original DNA. This single-stranded mRNA will then proceed to the other parts of the cell to
continue with the protein buildup or creation. Depending on the type of cell, mRNA may go to
the cytoplasm or endoplasmic reticulum for further processing. In the case of human cells, the
site for mRNA processing is in the endoplasmic reticulum. In this part of the cell, mRNA will be
processed and become amino acids or proteins.
The whole mRNA synthesis or process is short-lived. The beginning of the process is the actual
transcription or copying of the DNA, and the next parts involve the re-processing of mRNA into

Lascano, Mary Joyce Ann P.


MT14216
proteins or amino acids. Not all mRNA will be used up, though, for protein buildup. Some
excess supplies of this substance will eventually decay or degrade.

Functions of mRNA
Each molecule, or chain, of mRNA carries instructions on how to connect several "amino acids"
into a peptide chain, which becomes a protein. The same way that nucleotides are building
blocks for RNA, amino acids are building blocks for proteins. Evolution has produced a "genetic
code" wherein each of life's 20 amino acids is coded for by a series of three nitrogenous bases in
RNA nucleotides. Thus, each triplet of RNA nucleotides corresponds to one amino acid, and the
sequence of nucleotides dictates the sequence of amino acids that will be linked into the peptide
chain that makes a protein. While in some cases an amino acid can be represented by multiple
nucleotide triplets, called codons, each codon on RNA represents only one amino acid. For this
reason, the genetic code is said to be "degenerate."

Heterogenous RNA
What is Heterogenous RNA?
HnRNA stands for heterogeneous nuclear RNA. As its name suggests, hnRNA is a term that
encompasses various types and sizes of RNAs found in the eukaryotic cell nucleus. As you likely
know, RNAs exist in many forms and carry out a wide range of functions. Messenger RNA
(mRNA) is the only type of RNA that codes for proteins. Other types of RNA in eukaryotic cells
include: ribosomal RNA (rRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), small nuclear RNA (snRNA), micro
RNA (miRNA), small interfering RNA (siRNA), and small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA).
The majority of hnRNAs are pre-mRNAs, newly synthesized mRNAs often made up of two
types of segments: exons and introns. The exon segments are joined together to produce a mature
mRNA that encodes a protein; the non-coding intron segments are removed by splicing. From
the time new mRNAs are synthesized by RNA polymerase II, they are associated with RNAbinding proteins called heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein particle (hnRNP) proteins. HnRNP
proteins stabilize pre-mRNAs by allowing them to form a unique secondary structure. Different
hnRNP proteins recognize and bind to different sequences along the pre-mRNA. HnRNP-bound
pre-mRNAs are then spliced by spliceosomes (large macromolecular structures made up of
polypeptides and RNA) to produce mature mRNAs. And the mature mRNAs in turn serve as the
templates translation machinery use to produce their encoded polypeptides.

Lascano, Mary Joyce Ann P.


MT14216

Chemical Components & Synthesis


At various times following injection of either 3H-GTP
or 32PO4 into full-grown (stage 6) Xenopus laevis oocytes,
RNA has been extracted and fractionated on
polyacrylamide gels. Based on size, base composition and
incorporation data, we have defined the kinetics of
synthesis and accumulation of ribosomal RNA (40S, 28S,
18S), heterogeneous RNA of high molecular weight
(>40S) and heterogeneous RNA migrating with molecular
weights of from 4S to 40S. Nuclear isolations have been
performed to determine the cellular distribution of these
classes of RNA as a function of time. Evidence is
presented which shows that stage 6 oocytes synthesize
RNA which by virtue of its size, base composition, rapid
turnover and nuclear location is equivalent to the
heterogeneous nuclear RNA observed in somatic cells. In
addition, the data suggest synthesis of a class of nuclear
RNA with a half-life of several hours. A small fraction (5%) of the nuclear RNA is stable, enters
the cytoplasm and may represent RNA added to the stockpile of maternal transcripts known to be
present in stage 6 oocytes.

Functions
1. Prevent folding of pre-mRNA into secondary structures that may inhibit its interactions
with other proteins.
2. May associate with the splicing apparatus.
3. Transport of mRNA out of the nucleus.
The association of a pre-mRNA molecule with a hnRNP particle prevents formation of short
secondary structures dependent on base pairing of complementary regions, thereby making the
pre-mRNA accessible for interactions with other proteins.