In the process of protein synthesis, what is the difference between transcription and translation? 

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Protein biosynthesis in cells occurs in two different stages.  The first stage is called transcription.  It occurs in the cell nucleus and it involves a sequence of DNA being converted into a corresponding piece of RNA that is called messenger RNA (mRNA).  The process is performed by the enzyme RNA polymerase.  The mRNA produced is complementary to the DNA template it was copied from, meaning that the specific order of the nucleotide base pairing is preserved in the RNA nucleotides.  G becomes C and A becomes U (and vice versa).

The second stage of protein biosynthesis is called translation.  The mRNA from transcription makes its way to the ribosomes in the cell.  While there, the RNA bases are read in groups of three called codons.  Each codon codes for a particular amino acid.  The amino acids are brought to the ribosome in order by transfer RNA (tRNA) where they are then linked together via amide bonds to produce a polypeptide.  The completed polypeptide is folded to become a completed protein.

 

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