What do genes do?
What do genes do?

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

What do genes do?

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.

SAQ 5

Given that transcription — the production of mRNA — requires a DNA template, where do you think this process occurs in the cell?

Answer

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 course

Download this video clip.Video player: sk195_3_004v.mp4
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
SK195_3

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371