RNA & Genetic Code

by Kevin Ahern, PhD

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    The forms and functions of RNA are incredibly diverse, as we shall see in this presentation. In the first part I will talk about the processing of RNA and how RNA can actually help process other RNAs. Then I will talk about RNA interference, an important process that exists in eukaryotic cells whereby RNAs again help to control the synthesis of other RNAs. And finally I will talk about genetic code considerations which will include how transfer RNAs are best prepared for the process of translation. Most RNAs that exists in cells end up in a form different from what they started and this process is called RNA processing. The processing of RNAs can involve a couple of things. It can involve for example chemical alteration of the bases that happens in some RNAs like transfer RNA. It can also involve removal, deletion, and alteration of the bases within an RNA sequence as we shall see. Now enzymes called RNAses participate in the processing of ribosomal and transfer RNAs in most cells. The ribosomal RNAs are usually made as larger molecules called pre-ribosomal RNAs and these are processed in the nucleolus of eukaryotes. There are small RNAs called snoRNAs that help in this processing, as I will describe. Now transfer RNAs are also processed but interestingly transfer RNAs are made on the pre-ribosomal RNA, meaning that in some cases they are made with the ribosomal RNA. And the individual transfer RNAs are chopped out and then modified as appropriate for their function. The processing of transfer RNAs involves quite a few enzymes. But one of the enzymes is actually not an enzyme meaning that one of the things that catalyzes a reaction is actually another RNA called a ribozyme. This ribozyme is known as RNAase P and, as we will...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture RNA & Genetic Code by Kevin Ahern, PhD is from the course RNA and the Genetic Code. It contains the following chapters:

    • RNA Processing
    • RNA Splicing
    • Catalytic RNAs
    • RNA Interference
    • Genetic Code

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. ...in frequently arising from splicing.
    2. ...in containing a poly-A tail at the 5’ end.
    3. ...in using a different genetic code.
    4. ...in lacking a cap.
    1. It is almost exclusively found in prokaryotic cells.
    2. It involves removal of intervening sequences called introns from an RNA.
    3. It involves joining together of sequences called exons that are separated by introns.
    4. It creates lariat structures in the excised introns.
    1. It creates the proper 3’ end of a tRNA.
    2. It is a ribozyme.
    3. It creates the proper 5’ end of a tRNA.
    4. It catalyzes a reaction.
    1. ...relies on formation of duplex RNA sequences in cells.
    2. ...occurs when transcription of a gene is blocked.
    3. ...involves pairing of a target RNA to a complementary sequence by a protein called dicer.
    4. ...arises when the RISC protein destroys an RNA duplex.
    1. ...attaches an amino acid to the end of a tRNA.
    2. ...is responsible for transcribing tRNAs.
    3. ...reads the codon in the tRNA to put the right amino acid on the tRNA.
    4. ...is found in 64 different forms - one for each codon.

    Author of lecture RNA & Genetic Code

     Kevin Ahern, PhD

    Kevin Ahern, PhD

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