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protein synthesis
mrna strand
messenger rna
living organisms
amino acids
Protein Synthesis In Eukarotes
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In living organisms, translation is the process by which proteins are created through animo acid sequences. In eukaryotes, the process is slightly different than in prokaryotes. This process occurs on the rough endoplasmic reticulum, or the rough ER. The main factors in this process are the tRNA, or Transfer RNA, mRNA, or Messenger RNA, and the small and large ribosomal units. Translation is divided into three steps: initiation, elongation, and termination. During this process, the small and large ribosomal units work together as one unit, containing three separate locations, or sites, where the unit interacts with other proteins. The units are organized, from left to right, as the E (exit), P (peptidyl), and A (aminocyl) site.

Step One – Initiation

The step begins once both the ribosomal units bind onto an mRNA strand. The ribosome will bind onto what is known as the P site of the ribosome. The P site will be on the sequence AUG, known as the start codon. Binding on to the start codon gives the sites a proper reading frame, a sequence of three nucleotides for tRNA units to find and attach to. Following this step, the initiator rRNA will arrive, carrying the amino acid methionine. Following this, elongation will begin.

Step Two – Elongation

During this stage, proteins known as elongation factor Tu, or EF-Tu, and elongation factor G, or EF-G, will begin to aid the process. Random tRNA units will arrive and attempt to bind to the codon found on the A site in a trial-and-error process. Once a tRNA successfully binds to the ribosome’s A site, EF-Tu leaves the ribosome, and the two amino acids on the tRNAs have been merged with a peptide bond. Then, EF-G will enter the A site, shifting the other two proteins from the A and P sites to the P and E sites, respectively. EF-G then leaves the ribosome, allowing for another tRNA to attach to the now-open A site. This process continues in the 5’ to 3’ direction of the mRNA until the final step, termination, is reached.

Step Three – Termination

The cycle comes to a halt once the A site reads one of the following codons: UGA, UAA, or UAG. These codons are known as the stop codons, and stop the translation process. Once this occurs, proteins known as release factors bind to the A site, rather than tRNA molecules. This causes the small and large ribosomal units to separate again, releasing the amino acid chain, now a protein, into the environment.

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