RNA-Ribonucleic acid is a polymeric molecule essential in various biological roles in coding, decoding, regulation, and expression of genes. RNA and DNA are nucleic acids, and, along with lipids, proteins and carbohydrates, constitute the four major macromolecules essential for all known forms of life. RNA is a non- hereditary nucleic acid except in some viruses. Many viruses encode their genetic information using an RNA genome.
Structure of RNA-Ribonucleic acid
RNA is a ribonucleic acid that helps in the synthesis of proteins in our body. This nucleic acid is responsible for the production of new cells in the human body. It is usually obtained from the DNA molecule. RNA resembles same as that of DNA, the only difference being that it has a single strand unlike the DNA which has two strands and it consists of only single ribose sugar molecule in it. Hence is the name Ribonucleic acid. RNA is also referred to as a enzyme as it helps in the process of chemical reactions in the body.
Basic Structure of RNA- Ribonucleic acid
The basic structure of RNA is shown in the figure below-
The ribonucleic acid has all the components same to that of the DNA with only 2 main differences within it. RNA has the same nitrogen bases called the adenine, Guanine, Cytosine as that of the DNA except the Thymine which is replaced by the uracil. Adenine and uracil are considered as the major building blocks of RNA and both of them form base-pair with the help of 2 hydrogen bonds.
RNA resembles a hairpin structure and like the nucleotides in DNA, nucleosides are formed in this ribonucleic material(RNA). Nucleosides are nothing but the phosphate groups which sometimes also helps in the production of nucleotides in the DNA.
Functions of RNA
RNA has two major and basic functions as given below-
1>Firstly it assists the DNA and acts as a messenger between the DNA and the ribosomes.
2>Secondly it helps the ribosomes to choose the right amino acid which is required in building up of new proteins in the body.
Synthesis of RNA is usually catalyzed by an enzyme—RNA polymerase—using DNA as a template, a process known as transcription. Initiation of transcription begins with the binding of the enzyme to a promoter sequence in the DNA .The DNA double helix is unwound by the helicase activity of the enzyme. The enzyme then progresses along the template strand in the 3’ to 5’ direction, synthesizing a complementary RNA molecule with elongation occurring in the 5’ to 3’ direction. The DNA sequence also dictates where termination of RNA synthesis will occur.
TYPES OF RNA
Messenger RNA (mRNA) is the RNA that carries information from DNA to the ribosome, the sites of protein synthesis (translation) in the cell. The coding sequence of the mRNA determines the amino acid sequence in the protein that is produced.
Transfer RNA (tRNA) is a small RNA chain of about 80 nucleotides that transfers a specific amino acid to a growing polypeptide chain at the ribosomal site of protein synthesis during translation. It has sites for amino acid attachment and an anticodon region for codon recognition that binds to a specific sequence on the messenger RNA chain through hydrogen bonding.
Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) is the catalytic component of the ribosomes. Eukaryotic ribosomes contain four different rRNA molecules: 18S, 5.8S, 28S and 5S rRNA. Three of the rRNA molecules are synthesized in the nucleolus, and one is synthesized elsewhere. In the cytoplasm, ribosomal RNA and protein combine to form a nucleoprotein called a ribosome. The ribosome binds mRNA and carries out protein synthesis.
Transfer-messenger RNA (tmRNA) is found in many bacteria and plastids. It tags proteins encoded by mRNAs that lack stop codons for degradation and prevents the ribosome from stalling.
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