MCDB 2150 Lecture 5: Class 5 Translation

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Class Notes
Translation starts at the start codon: AUG
Translation stops at one of the three stop codons: UAG, UAA, and UGA
o No tRNA corresponds to these codons so the chain of amino acids is released from the
How is genetic code determined?
o In the 1960s, scientists knew DNA was comprised of ATCG, but didn’t know how many
nucleotides of RNA encoded each amino acid. They knew proteins were made of amino
acids and that there were 20 distinct amino acids
Determining the length of each codon
o Francis Crick and colleagues determined that each codon
but me three nucleotides by deleting or inserting one
nucleotide to a strand of a known length
This also demonstrated that the code was non-
Determining the identity of each codon
o Synthesize RNA of different known nucleotide sequences
and wee which peptide sequences are generated
Reading frames
o The start codon used by the ribosome during translation determines initiation of
translation and the “reading frame”
Genetic code: mRNA is read in 3 nucleotide groups called codons
o Degenerate: multiple codons can code for one amino acid
This is also called “wobble”
Protein structure: determined by the amino acids that make up the protein
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