DNA, RNA and the Genetic Code: DNA Replication and Transcription I

by Kevin Ahern, PhD

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    Though what happens in cells may appear to be chaotic, in fact the overall process is highly, tightly regulated. We know the central dogma specifies that DNA, makes RNA, makes protein. In this module I will talk about some considerations of that to help us better understand the process. First I'll talk about nucleic acid structure because understanding structure is important to understanding function. Next I will talk about how the DNA is replicated in very general terms. And then last I'll talk about the synthesis of RNA from DNA, the process of transcription. Now when we consider the nucleic acids, DNA and RNA, we have to first of all understand some things about their structure. The building blocks of DNA and RNA are nucleotides and these nucleotides can be broken into two different groups, deoxyribonucleotides and ribonucleotides, you can see them on the screen here. Now these nucleotides have some common features associated with them. First each has a high energy triphosphates, the three phosphates linked together hold a lot of energy. They each have a sugar, in the case of the deoxyribonucleotides, that sugar is called deoxyribose, in the case of the ribonucleotides, that sugar is known as ribose. Last, each of these have a base and the base can be one of four different bases, in the case of the deoxyribonucleotides, the bases are adenine, guanine, cytosine or thymidine. Ribonucleotides have three of the same bases, adenine, guanine and cytosine, but instead of thymidine, they have uracil. This figure shows the structure of the four deoxyribonucleotides, deoxyadenosine triphosphate known as the dATP, deoxyguanosine triphosphate known as the dGTP, the deoxycytidine triphosphate known as the dCTP and deoxythymidine triphosphate known as dTTP. The deoxy in front of the thymidine is sometimes omitted. Now, the deoxyribonucleotides are broken into...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture DNA, RNA and the Genetic Code: DNA Replication and Transcription I by Kevin Ahern, PhD is from the course Biochemistry: Basics. It contains the following chapters:

    • Nucleotides
    • Structure and Topology of DNA
    • DNA Replication
    • Transcription
    • Messenger RNAs

    Quiz for lecture

    Test your knowledge with our quiz for lecture DNA, RNA and the Genetic Code: DNA Replication and Transcription I.

    1. They all are used by RNA polymerase.
    2. They all contain at least one phosphate.
    3. They all contain deoxyribose.
    4. They all contain at least one base.
    1. ...have directional polarities arising the sugars they contain.
    2. ...contain phosphodiester bonds that join the bases.
    3. ...have a positively charged phosphate backbone.
    4. ...contain peptide bonds.
    1. ...are held together by hydrogen bonds.
    2. ...are lined up so that purines pair with purines and pyrimidines with pyrimidines.
    3. ...substitute uracil in place of thymine.
    4. ...are most commonly found in the A form.
    1. ...says DNA can code for RNA and vice-versa.
    2. ...has never been modified.
    3. ...is different in bacteria than in humans.
    4. ...states that DNA makes protein and RNA.
    1. ...always occurs 5’ to 3’.
    2. ...always starts in the cell with a primer made of DNA.
    3. ...requires a helicase to relieve DNA tension.
    4. ...has the lagging strand made in one continuous piece.
    1. ...begins near a promoter.
    2. ...involves synthesis of protein from RNA.
    3. ...proceeds in the 3’ to 5’ direction.
    4. ...produces a duplex RNA.
    1. ...operates in a transcription bubble.
    2. ...binds to RNA to make DNA.
    3. ...uses a rho protein in bacteria to identify the promoter.
    4. ...copies the coding strand to make mRNA.
    1. ...creates mRNAs that have a cap at the 5’ end.
    2. ...creates mRNA with a Shine-Dalgarno sequence.
    3. ...creates mRNAs that often have multiple genes on them.
    4. ...Occurs 3’ to 5’.
    1. ...is not found in eukaryotic mRNAs.
    2. ...tells the RNA polymerase where to begin transcription.
    3. ...is found in tRNAs.
    4. ...aligns the mRNA’s 3’ end with the ribosome so translation can begin at the right place.

    Author of lecture DNA, RNA and the Genetic Code: DNA Replication and Transcription I

     Kevin Ahern, PhD

    Kevin Ahern, PhD

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