DNA, RNA, Chromosomes, and Genes


What is transcription and translation?

Transcription is how DNA makes RNA; it comes in three stages. Simply put, the first stage is the initiation—a step that begins when an enzyme, RNA polymerase, recognizes and binds to the DNA in a certain spot called the promoter region. Once the RNA polymerase is attached, the DNA transcription of the DNA template begins. The next step is the elongation—this means the strand continues as the RNA polymerase adds more nucleotides to the end of a growing chain. It does this by prying the two strands of DNA apart and attaching the RNA nucleotides based on the base pairing rules—C with G and A with U. Finally, in the termination stage, the RNA polymerase transcribes what is called a termination sequence (AAUAAA) and is cut free from the DNA template. Translation is the process by which the ribosomes synthesize proteins using a mature mRNA transcript that is produced during transcription. Simply put, genetic information stored in DNA, through transcription, changes to mRNA; then through translation, it changes to an amino acid.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Biology Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App