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Translation Cheat Sheet by


Transl­ation Facts

Proteins are synthe­sized from amino acids through the process of transl­ation
tRNA carries amino acids to ribosome for protein synthesis. Amino acids not involved in decoding - fidelity of protein synthesis requires correct charging of tRNA
Properties of genetic code: triple­t(c­odon), non-ov­erl­apping, unambi­guo­us(­clear), degene­rate, universal
3 phases of transl­ation: initia­tion, elonga­tion, termin­ation
- tRNA base-pairs with mRNA; wobble base pairing
- mRNA is read from 5' to 3', polype­ptide extends from N- to C- terminus
Amino acid on tRNA is not involved in codon recogn­ition

Structure of tRNA

Structure of tRNA

The confor­mation (three­-di­men­sional shape) of tRNA results from base pairing (hydrogen bonds) within the molecule.
The sequence on 3' end is always CCA: the amino acid attachment site.
Anticodon: site of base pairing with mRNA. Unique for each species of tRNA.


Charging a tRNA molecule

Aminoa­cyl­-tRNA synthe­tases: for charging a transfer RNA with the correct amino acid
Each enzyme is specific for one amino acid

Properties of genetic code

3 bases made up a codon
Each codon specify one amino acid
Degene­rate: more than one codon for the same amino acid
Nearly universal

Codon table


Structure of ribosome

Three phases of transl­ation

- Start codon: AUG
In eukary­otes, ribosome binds to 5' cap and moves along the mRNA to find the first start codon.
- mRNA is read from 5' end to 3' end
- Proteins are synthe­sized from N-terminus to C-terminus
- Stop codons: UAA, UAG, UGA


Initiation of transl­ation

Elongation of transl­ation

Termin­ation of transl­ation



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