Messenger RNA

∞ generated and posted on 2015.12.30 ∞

Nucleic acid polymer that is read by ribosomes towards synthesis (translation) of polypeptides.

Messenger RNA, a.k.a., rRNA, takes copied DNA-encoded information and carries it to ribosomes, where it is read to effect protein (i.e., polypeptide) synthesis.

Messenger RNAs, to be functional, must possess a ribosome binding site as well as an open reading frame, that is, an appropriately placed start codon, a uninterrupted string of sense codons, and one or more appropriately placed stop codons.

In prokaryotes, messenger RNAs can interact with ribosomes immediately after their (messenger RNA) transcription. In eukaryotes, by contrast, the messenger RNA is transcribed in the nucleus but is read by ribosomes in the cytoplasm. This creates both a temporal and spatial gap between messenger RNA synthesis and polypeptide synthesis that can be described as a segregation of transcription and translation.

During the gap between messenger RNA synthesis and its interaction with ribosomes, as seen in eukaryotes, the messenger RNA undergoes a series of processing steps (messenger RNA processing) that involves, among other things, the removal of introns.

See also RNA and mRNA as well as ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and transfer RNA (tRNA).