The Genetic Code: Codons and Anticodons

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How did I know which amino acid corresponded to which region in the messenger RNA? If you recall my earlier diagram where I brought in the first transfer RNA(tRNA), notice that this transfer RNA has methionine(MET) at its back end and three nucleotide bases(UAC) at the lower end. These bases complement the three nucleotide bases(AUG) on the mRNA. The triplet of bases on the mRNA is called the codon and the complementary triplet on the tRNA is called the anticodon. Each tRNA will carry a particular amino acid. So all tRNA's with the anti codon UAC will carry methionine. Since the anticodon will pair up only with a particular codon, this means that we can translate directly from the sequence of codons on messenger RNA into the polypeptide or protein. The anticodons then provide the link between the language of nucleic acids into the language of polypeptides. The genetic code table for doing the translation is shown here.

 
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  pgd 03/07/00