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Cell Biology

Transfer RNA (tRNA)

This device is designed to connect genetic information in the nucleus with the structural expression of what the cell is.

It is an interesting fact that neither the DNA in the nucleus, nor the mRNA which acts as a template for protein construction, are ever connected to the building protein. Each amino acid called for in the protein sequence, is carried to the assembly site (ribosome) by a small RNA molecule with 3 nucleotides at one end that match the next three nucleotides called for on mRNA.

It so happens that the very amino acid that the mRNA needs next for this protein to form, is the very same amino acid that the tRNA (this little molecule) is carrying. So it is each small tRNA, and only the tRNA, which actually connects the correct choice of amino acid with the triplet code of the genetic material. If the tRNA happens to bring to the ribosome the wrong amino acid compared to what the triplet code is calling for, then there will be no life. The only connection between the triplet code in the nucleus (and mRNA) is at the tRNA level!

The tRNA connector represents a mental, not a physical link between the information conveyed in the DNA and the actual construction of the cell. Without an all-knowing designer to provide the tRNA link, any information provided in the genetic information would be useless because nothing would happen.

Related Terms

  • Information
  • Transcription
  • Amino Acid and Proteins