Translation – Higher tier


Translation – Higher tier

Translation takes place in the ribosomes that are found in the cytoplasm. This is where the messenger RNA is ‘interpreted’ and the new protein formed. The stages are:

  1. The mRNA attaches to a ribosome. The ribosome “reads” the mRNA.
  2. The ribosome decodes the mRNA in groups of three – base triplets or codons – which are complementary to bases in transfer RNA (tRNA).
  3. The tRNA is specific to an amino acid that it collects and returns to the mRNA.
  4. The amino acids are now lined up in order of the instructions on the mRNA.
  5. Bonds form between the amino acids and a polypeptide chain is formed.
  6. The polypeptide chain folds and becomes a specific shape forming a protein.

Diagram of a translation

Diagram showing a translation taking place

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