Nucleic acids and chromatin
Nucleic acids and chromatin

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

Nucleic acids and chromatin

4.6 Summary

  1. RNA chains play fundamentally important roles within the cell, including genetic information transfer (mRNA), components of the translation machinery (rRNA in ribosomes and tRNAs) and as regulatory small RNAs.

  2. The tertiary structure of RNA is determined by interactions that maximise base pairing. Despite instability and isolation problems, the tertiary structures of several major cellular RNAs are known.

  3. Transfer RNA structure is highly specialised for its role in translation.

  4. Hairpin RNAs called MiRNAs are present in many eukaryotes and are processed by a cellular ribonuclease called dicer to yield short 21–25-nucleotide RNAs, which exert effects upon mRNA stability, translation and DNA.

  5. A class of strand-cleaving ribozyme RNAs exist as intron-splicing molecules. They have been exploited as therapeutic and experimental tools to target mRNAs in cells.

  6. Short oligonucleotide chains can act as antisense regulators of mRNA levels.

  7. The potential for single-stranded nucleic acids to adopt many different structural conformations has been exploited to develop aptamers that demonstrate selective high-affinity binding to target molecules.


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