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DNA and protein synthesis glossary

1. Codon
a. A sequence of three bases in mRNA that codes for one amino acid
2. Anticodon
a. A sequence of three bases on a tRNA molecule that determines
the specific amino acid it can pick up, and the mRNA codon with
which it can bind
3. mRNA
a. Messenger RNA is the RNA that is made in the nucleus,
complementary to the DNA of a gene, before travelling to a
ribosome and taking part in protein synthesis
4. tRNA
a. Transfer RNA is a type of RNA found in the cytoplasm , made of a
single strand looped back on itself; each tRNA molecule has a
particular anticodon that pairs with a codon on mRNA, and also
determines the type of amino acid with which tRNA will bind
5. Terminator region
a. A sequences of DNA nucleotides that signal the termination of
transcription of a gene by RNA polymerase
6. Antisense strand
a. A strand of DNA running from 3 to 5
complementing the sense strand. It is not copied in
RNA transcription. It is a DNA nucleotide replica of
the mRNA strand after transcription
7. Sense strand
a. A strand of DNA running from 5 to 3 which is transcribed into mRNA by RNA
8. Transcription
a. Producing an mRNA molecule with a complementary base
sequence to one strand (anti-sense) of DNA.
9. Translation
a. The synthesis of proteins on a ribosome; the sequence of
amino acids is determined by the sequence of bases in the
10. RNA polymerase
a. An enzyme that links together RNA nucleotides
during transcription
11. Nucleoside triphosphate
a. A nucleoside bound to three phosphates. They are
the base for nucleic acids and are also used in cell
metabolism (natural NTPs include ATP).

12. Nucleosome
a. A length of DNA coiled around a histone forming a DNA
histone complex. It is a structural unit of a eukaryotic
13. DNA ligase
a. An enzyme that links nucleotides together by catalysing
the formation of covalent bonds between the deoxyribose
and phosphate groups.
14. DNA polymerase
a. An enzyme that makes complementary copies of DNA
through template directed synthesis.
15. RNA Primase
a. The enzyme synthesises the RNA for DNA sequences
that later become Okazaki fragments and also RNA
16. Okazaki fragment
a. A short fragment of DNA synthesized on the lagging
strand (3 to 5) during DNA replication. It creates a
path to enable discontinuous synthesis, which can be
connected covalently to form continuous synthesis.
17. 5 to 3 direction
a. This indicates that the carbon number in the DNAs
sugar backbone. The 5 carbon has a phosphate
attached to it and the 3 carbon has a hydroxyl
group. This means that a 5 to 3; direction moves
from a phosphate group down to a hydroxyl group
on the deoxyribose sugar.
18. Promoter region
a. DNA sequences which are recognised and bound to
by DNA-dependent RNA polymerase during the
initiation of transcription.