from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Life: PlantsThursday, 30th July 2015 11:00 - EdenAs ingenious as any animal... Read more: Life: Plants
A History of Ideas: Psychotherapist Mark Vernon on FreudThursday, 30th July 2015 12:04 - BBC Radio 4
Life: PlantsThursday, 30th July 2015 17:00 - Eden
Life: PlantsThursday, 30th July 2015 23:00 - Eden
A History of Ideas: Theologian Giles Fraser on AltruismAvailable until Wednesday, 27th July 2016 00:00Giles Fraser explains why our genes determine our concern for others. Read more: A History of Ideas: Theologian Giles Fraser on Altruism
Great Ormond Street Hospital: Fix my genesAvailable until Saturday, 15th August 2015 00:20
The Bank: LendingAvailable until Saturday, 8th August 2015 00:50
OU on the BBC- Wanted: A Very Personal Assistant: Episode OneAvailable until Thursday, 27th August 2015 02:30
Can we find the rest of MH370?It looks as if part of MH370, the lost Malaysian Airlines jet, has been found. Will this help us... Read more: Can we find the rest of MH370?
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Beginners’ Italian: food and drinkThis free course, Beginners’ Italian: food and drink, focuses on buying drinks and snacks in an... Try: Beginners’ Italian: food and drink now
English: skills for learningThis course is for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to... Try: English: skills for learning now
What do genes do?
This unit explores how information contained in DNA is used, explaining the flow of...
This unit explores how information contained in DNA is used, explaining the flow of information from DNA to RNA to protein. Also introduced are the concepts of transcription (as occurs between DNA and RNA) and translation.
After studying this unit you should understand:
- how the linear sequence of DNA within a gene is related to the linear sequence of amino acids of a protein
- how the information in DNA is carried via RNA to make a protein
- how RNA is synthesised from DNA by the process of transcription
- where the processes of transcription and translation occur within the cell
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
5 Where does transcription occur in the cell?
Up to now we have described the processes of transcription without considering where each occurs within the cell.
Given that transcription — the production of mRNA — requires a DNA template, where do you think this process occurs in the cell?
It must occur in the nucleus where the DNA in the cell is located.
However, once mRNA is produced, it leaves the nucleus and protein synthesis – translation – occurs in the cytoplasm. Thus transcription and translation are separated both in space within the cell and in time, in that one occurs after the other, as shown schematically in Figure 11.8. Thus the role of mRNA is to carry a coded message from the nucleus where the information is stored, to the cytoplasm where the coded message is translated into a specific protein; hence it’s name – messenger RNA.
Translation occurs at particular sites within the cytoplasm; it occurs on ribosomes. Ribosomes are large aggregates of proteins and ribosomal RNA (rRNA). Hence three types of RNA are involved in the process of translation but only one of them, mRNA, codes for proteins.
Video: Click to view clip of conclusion to this unit
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Biology courses or view the range of currently available OU Biology courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 8th July 2013
Last updated on: Monday, 8th July 2013
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.