Nucleic Acid Processes
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Review of Processes

Nucleic Acid Processes

It was mentioned on an earlier page that the synthesis of proteins was directed by nucleic acids and that DNA was ultimately responsible for the sequence of amino acids in those proteins. Let's turn our attention now to the sequence of reactions by which the genetic information in DNA dictates which proteins are formed and what will be their primary structure.

In this section we will look at three very important processes.

Transcription, in which the nucleotide sequence in DNA is transcribed into a comparable nucleotide sequence in RNA. Note the parallel with languages. Transcription involves copying without changing the language (the nucleotides A, C, G, T, U are used in both).
Translation, in which the nucleotide sequence in RNA is translated into a corresponding amino acid sequence in protein. Again note the parallel with languages. Translation involves taking a message in one set of letters and words (the nucleotides A, C, G, U are used in RNA) and translating it into a different set of letters and words (the amino acids Gly, Ala, Val, et cetera are used in protein).
Replication, in which the nucleotide sequence in DNA is replicated for use in newly formed cells.


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