Protein Synthesis: Definition & Purpose

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  • 0:04 Protein Creation
  • 1:17 Peptide Chains
  • 2:39 Why Do Cells Make Proteins?
  • 3:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Vibha Jha

Vibha has doctorate in Immunology and has taught college level Microbiology

In this lesson, we will learn about proteins are made in living things. We will also learn why proteins are an important component of the daily diet of organisms, especially people.

Protein Creation

Protein synthesis is the process by which proteins are formed in biological cells. Proteins carry out all the important functions of a cell, such as transport, structural support, chemical reactions, cell communication, and protection from harmful bacteria and viruses. Every protein molecule is made up of amino acids. Amino acids are organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. There are only twenty amino acids that are naturally made by living organisms, but there are vast varieties of proteins created from them.

Names and abbreviations of amino acids

Protein creation begins with deoxyribonucleic acid, also known as DNA. The genetic code of the DNA dictates the type of protein synthesized. Transcription is the process in which the DNA's code is copied to produce ribonucleic acid, or RNA, in the nucleus of a cell. Three types of RNA work together to synthesize proteins: messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), and ribosomal RNA (rRNA). The RNA leaves the nucleus and ventures out into the cytoplasm to the ribosomes, which work like small factories that manufacture proteins.

Peptide Chains

Peptide chains are long strings of amino acids. DNA, RNA, and ribosomes coordinate to form a peptide chain. The activity of producing a peptide chain is known as translation. First, the genetic code in the DNA is converted to the code present in the mRNA with the help of various enzymes. The code in the mRNA decides the order and type of amino acid used to make a peptide chain. Next, the ribosome attaches to the mRNA. The tRNA then carries the amino acid to the ribosome ready to synthesize a peptide chain. Each tRNA molecule attaches to its corresponding amino acid, creating amino-acyl tRNA.

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