Table of Contents
Biomolecules Gateway Page
Jmol Tutorial

In this module:

The Genetic Code
Transfer RNA


Once tRNA molecules have captured their amino acids, translation can begin.

Click on the step numbers below to see the steps in translation. Click on the mouse at left to clear the images and text.

mRNA binds to the ribosome. The AUG start codon sits in a particular site on the ribosome (the P or peptide site) and binds a tRNA with Met bound to it. The second codon, GAA in this example, binds a tRNA with Glu bound in a second site (the A or aminoacyl site).
The ribosome catalyzes the formation of a peptide bond between the amino acids in the P and A sites.
The dipeptide moves to the P site and another tRNA brings the next amino acid into the A site. Another peptide bond is formed between the second and third amino acids.
This process continues until a stop codon on the mRNA enters the A site. Then the mRNA and the new protein are released from the ribosome and the protein is free to fold into its native structure.

Several ribosomes can bind at the same time to one mRNA molecule, increasing the rate of translation and production of a protein.