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Cell Biology: Transcription

Cell Biology Transcription

Best Answer OldCloner, 07 January 2019 - 06:32 AM

You have to be careful with the meaning of the word “attach” here.  In single-stranded DNA (or RNA) nucleotides are attached together like beads in a chain, by what chemists call “covalent” bonds, which for practical purposes you can think of as strong, “semi-permanent” bonds.  But the two DNA strands that together make a double-helix are “attached” by weaker ionic bonds, which are more like an electrical “attraction” than a solid attachment.  This is mediated by the attraction of the complimentary bases C to G, and A to T, (which I think you already know about). Therefore the two strands can fairly easily come apart (with some enzyme help) to allow transcription.  When transcribing, the RNA polymerase replaces the absent DNA strand with ribonucleotides (rather than deoxyriboneucleotides), matching up the complimentary ribonucleotide (r-C, r- G, r-A, or r-U) to the bases on the single DNA strand.  The enzyme connects the ribonucleotides together by covalent bonds, making a single-stranded RNA chain, but the RNA is only “attached” to the DNA template by the weaker attraction of the base-pairing, and this is only temporary, as the RNAs are pretty quickly processed and exported to the ribosomes from there.  The RNA message never has a “hard” connection to the DNA template.

And yes, the separated DNA strands go back together, as the RNA polymerase moves along the DNA template.

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#1 MrMaster4532

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 04:04 PM

Hi,

 

          I was reading about how the RNA polymerase attaches nucleotides loose in the nucleus to the separated DNA strand that possessed the promoter, in order to create RNA. After it "attaches" the nucleotides creating RNA, does the RNA separate from the DNA strand, allowing the DNA to connect together again, or does the RNA's nucleotides never actually connect to the DNA strand?

 

Thanks.



#2 OldCloner

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 06:32 AM   Best Answer

You have to be careful with the meaning of the word “attach” here.  In single-stranded DNA (or RNA) nucleotides are attached together like beads in a chain, by what chemists call “covalent” bonds, which for practical purposes you can think of as strong, “semi-permanent” bonds.  But the two DNA strands that together make a double-helix are “attached” by weaker ionic bonds, which are more like an electrical “attraction” than a solid attachment.  This is mediated by the attraction of the complimentary bases C to G, and A to T, (which I think you already know about). Therefore the two strands can fairly easily come apart (with some enzyme help) to allow transcription.  When transcribing, the RNA polymerase replaces the absent DNA strand with ribonucleotides (rather than deoxyriboneucleotides), matching up the complimentary ribonucleotide (r-C, r- G, r-A, or r-U) to the bases on the single DNA strand.  The enzyme connects the ribonucleotides together by covalent bonds, making a single-stranded RNA chain, but the RNA is only “attached” to the DNA template by the weaker attraction of the base-pairing, and this is only temporary, as the RNAs are pretty quickly processed and exported to the ribosomes from there.  The RNA message never has a “hard” connection to the DNA template.

And yes, the separated DNA strands go back together, as the RNA polymerase moves along the DNA template.


Edited by OldCloner, 07 January 2019 - 06:42 AM.


#3 MrMaster4532

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 05:07 PM

Thank you. I did not know about this.







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