RNA (Ribonucleic Acid)

Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) is a polymeric molecule essential in various biological roles in coding, decoding, regulation, and expression of genes. RNA and DNA are nucleic acids, and, along with proteins and carbohydrates, constitute the four major macromolecules essential for all known forms of life. Like DNA, RNA is assembled as a chain of nucleotides, but unlike DNA it is more often found in nature as a single-strand folded onto itself, rather than a paired double-strand. Cellular organisms use messenger RNA (mRNA) to convey genetic information (using the letters G, U, A, and C to denote the nitrogenous bases guanine, uracil, adenine, and cytosine) that directs the synthesis of specific proteins. Many viruses encode their genetic information using an RNA genome.

Some RNA molecules play an active role within cells by catalyzing biological reactions, controlling gene expression, or sensing and communicating responses to cellular signals. One of these active processes is protein synthesis, a universal function where RNA molecules direct the assembly of proteins on ribosomes. This process uses transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules to deliver amino acids to the ribosome, where ribosomal RNA (rRNA) then links amino acids together to form proteins.

Ribonucleic acid is a linear molecule composed of four types of smaller molecules called ribonucleotide bases: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and uracil (U). RNA is often compared to a copy from a reference book, or a template, because it carries the same information as its DNA template but is not used for long-term storage.

Each ribonucleotide base consists of a ribose sugar, a phosphate group, and a nitrogenous base. Adjacent ribose nucleotide bases are chemically attached to one another in a chain via chemical bonds called phosphodiester bonds. Unlike DNA, RNA is usually single-stranded. Additionally, RNA contains ribose sugars rather than deoxyribose sugars, which makes RNA more unstable and more prone to degradation.

  Cellular Respiration

RNA is synthesized from DNA by an enzyme known as RNA polymerase during a process called transcription. The new RNA sequences are complementary to their DNA template, rather than being identical copies of the template. RNA is then translated into proteins by structures called ribosomes. There are three types of RNA involved in the translation process: messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), and ribosomal RNA (rRNA).

Although some RNA molecules are passive copies of DNA, many plays crucial, active roles in the cell. For example, some RNA molecules are involved in switching genes on and off, and other RNA molecules make up the critical protein synthesis machinery in ribosomes.

“Research on RNA has led to many important biological discoveries and numerous Nobel Prizes. Nucleic acids were discovered in 1868 by Friedrich Miescher, who called the material ‘nuclein’ since it was found in the nucleus. It was later discovered that prokaryotic cells, which do not have a nucleus, also contain nucleic acids. The role of RNA in protein synthesis was suspected already in 1939. Severo Ochoa won the 1959 Nobel Prize in Medicine (shared with Arthur Kornberg) after he discovered an enzyme that can synthesize RNA in the laboratory. However, the enzyme discovered by Ochoa (polynucleotide phosphorylase) was later shown to be responsible for RNA degradation, not RNA synthesis. In 1956 Alex Rich and David Davies hybridized two separate strands of RNA to form the first crystal of RNA whose structure could be determined by X-ray crystallography.”

What is meaning of RNA?

Ribonucleic acid, a nucleic acid present in all living cells. Its principal role is to act as a messenger carrying instructions from DNA for controlling the synthesis of proteins, although in some viruses RNA rather than DNA carries the genetic information.

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What is Definition of RNA?


RNA is a Ribonucleic Acid and is same copy of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid).

What is RNA?

Ribonucleic acid or RNA is one of the three major biological macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life (along with DNA and proteins). A central tenet of molecular biology states that the flow of genetic information in a cell is from DNA through RNA to proteins: “DNA makes RNA makes protein”. Proteins are the workhorses of the cell; they play leading roles in the cell as enzymes, as structural components, and in cell signaling, to name just a few. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is considered the “blueprint” of the cell; it carries all of the genetic information required for the cell to grow, to take in nutrients, and to propagate. RNA–in this role–is the “DNA photocopy” of the cell. When the cell needs to produce a certain protein, it activates the protein’s gene–the portion of DNA that codes for that protein–and produces multiple copies of that piece of DNA in the form of messenger RNA, or mRNA. The multiple copies of mRNA are then used to translate the genetic code into protein through the action of the cell’s protein manufacturing machinery, the ribosomes. Thus, RNA expands the quantity of a given protein that can be made at one time from one given gene, and it provides an important control point for regulating when and how much protein gets made.

For many years RNA was believed to have only three major roles in the cell–as a DNA photocopy (mRNA), as a coupler between the genetic code and the protein building blocks (tRNA), and as a structural component of ribosomes (rRNA). In recent years, however, we have begun to realize that the roles adopted by RNA are much broader and much more interesting. We now know that RNA can also act as enzymes (called ribozymes) to speed chemical reactions. In a number of clinically important virus’s RNA, rather than DNA, carries the viral genetic information. RNA also plays an important role in regulating cellular processes–from cell division, differentiation and growth to cell aging and death. Defects in certain RNAs or the regulation of RNAs have been implicated in a number of important human diseases, including heart disease, some cancers, stroke, and many others.

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