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2.7. Translation of RNA to proteins

Protein translation or synthesis

The translation or synthesis of proteins consists of the formation of an amino acid sequence (protein) from the information contained in the sequence of nitrogenous bases of the mRNA, transcribed from the DNA (in the transcription process) that is in the nucleus of the eukaryotic cells.

The transcribed mRNA leaves the nucleus through the pores of the nuclear envelope and reaches the cytoplasm, where the ribosomes are and to which it will bind.

The ribosome "reads" the  mRNA in threes in three nucleotides called codons. The ribosome goes through the mRNA translating each codon to the corresponding amino acid, but it needs the help of another RNA, the tRNA or transfer RNA. Each tRNA is linked to a specific amino acid, the one corresponding to each codon of mRNA. The tRNA has a triplet, called the anticodon, which is the one that binds to the codon of the mRNA.

Thus, the mRNA base sequence is what establishes the order in which amino acids are added to the peptide chain that will form the protein.

The arriving amino acids, attached to the tRNA, are joined by peptide bonds to form the protein.


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Biology and Geology teaching materials for Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) and Baccalaureate students.