Anticodon: definition, location, function, example

what is an anticodon

The genetic code is the foundation of all life on Earth, and the key to understanding how this code is translated into proteins is the anticodon. Anticodons are short sequences of RNA that pair with specific codons on messenger RNA (mRNA) during the process of translation, allowing the correct amino acids to be added to a growing polypeptide chain.

In this blog post, we will explore the role of anticodons in the process of protein synthesis and the genetic code. We will also discuss the various types of RNA involved in this process, including transfer RNA (tRNA) and ribosomal RNA (rRNA).

Additionally, we will examine the impact of errors in anticodon-codon pairing, such as those caused by mutations, on the final protein product.

Whether you’re a student studying molecular biology or simply curious about the inner workings of the genetic code, this post is sure to provide valuable insights and information.

Definition of anticodon

An anticodon is a specific sequence of three nucleotides (the building blocks of DNA and RNA) found at one end of a transfer RNA (tRNA) molecule. The anticodon serves as a binding site for a specific codon, which is a sequence of three nucleotides found on a messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule.

The anticodon binds to the codon during protein synthesis, allowing the correct amino acid to be brought to the ribosome for incorporation into the growing polypeptide chain.

What is an anticodon?

An anticodon is a trinucleotide sequence located at one end of a tRNA molecule, which is complementary to a corresponding codon in an mRNA sequence.

Each time an amino acid is added to a growing polypeptide during protein synthesis, a tRNA anticodon pairs with its complementary codon on the mRNA molecule, ensuring that the appropriate amino acid is inserted into the polypeptide.

During protein synthesis, the genetic code (the sequence of nucleotides in the DNA) is transcribed into an mRNA molecule. This mRNA then travels to the ribosome, which acts as the site of protein synthesis.

what is an anticodon

The ribosome reads the sequence of nucleotides in the mRNA and translates it into a sequence of amino acids, which make up proteins. The translation of mRNA into proteins is accomplished by the transfer RNAs (tRNAs) that bring the specific amino acids to the ribosome.

As the ribosome moves along the mRNA, it encounters a codon, a sequence of three nucleotides that specify a particular amino acid. At this point, the tRNA with the anticodon that is complementary to the codon on the mRNA arrives at the ribosome.

The anticodon base pairs with the codon on the mRNA, allowing the correct tRNA to bring the appropriate amino acid to the ribosome. The amino acid is then linked to the growing polypeptide chain by peptide bonds, which are formed by the ribosome.

Where is the anticodon located?

An anticodon is a trinucleotide sequence located at one end of a transfer RNA (tRNA) molecule. It is a sequence of three nucleotides that base-pair with a corresponding codon on a messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule during protein synthesis. The anticodon is found at one end of the tRNA molecule, opposite the end that attaches to a specific amino acid.

How does anticodon work?

Each time an amino acid is added to a growing polypeptide during protein synthesis, a tRNA anticodon pairs with its complementary codon on the mRNA molecule, ensuring that the appropriate amino acid is inserted into the polypeptide.

Protein synthesis is the process by which cells use genetic information to build proteins. The process begins with the transcription of genetic information from DNA to RNA. RNA polymerase reads the DNA code and creates a single-stranded RNA molecule, called messenger RNA (mRNA), that contains the instructions for building a specific protein.

The mRNA then travels to a ribosome, the site of protein production, where the process of translation occurs. The translation is the process by which the information in the mRNA is used to build a protein.

During translation, the mRNA is read in groups of three nucleotides, called codons. Each codon specifies a particular amino acid that should be added to the growing protein chain.

To match the codon on the mRNA with the correct amino acid, transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are used. Each tRNA has a specific anticodon, a sequence of three nucleotides that are complementary to a specific codon on the mRNA. The tRNA also has a specific amino acid attached to it.

When the correct tRNA binds to the mRNA codon, its attached amino acid is added to the growing protein chain. Enzymes catalyze the bonding of amino acids together as tRNA anticodons bind to the correct mRNA codon.

Once the tRNA’s amino acid has been added to the protein chain, the tRNA leaves to pick up a new amino acid to bring to a new mRNA.

Function of anticodon

Anticodons are a sequence of three nucleotides found on transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules. Their main function is to base pair with the codon on a strand of mRNA during the process of translation. This base pairing ensures that the correct amino acid will be added to the growing polypeptide chain, which is the process of building a protein.

During translation, the mRNA is read in groups of three nucleotides, called codons. Each codon specifies a particular amino acid that should be added to the growing protein chain.

To match the codon on the mRNA with the correct amino acid, tRNA molecules are used. Each tRNA molecule carries a specific amino acid and has a specific anticodon, which is a sequence of three nucleotides that are complementary to a specific codon on the mRNA.

When the anticodon on a tRNA molecule successfully pairs up with a codon on an mRNA molecule, the cellular machinery recognizes that the correct amino acid is in place to be added to the growing protein chain.

This process continues until all the codons on the mRNA have been matched with their corresponding anticodons and amino acids, and the protein is complete.

Example of anticodon

The anticodons are the complementary sequences that pair with the codons during translation.

The possible example of anticodons for each amino acid are as follows:

  • Phenylalanine: AAA and AAG
  • Leucine: AAU, AAC, GAA, GAG, GAU, and GAC
  • Isoleucine: UAA, UAG, and UAU
  • Methionine: UAC
  • Valine: CAA, CAG, CAU, and CAC
  • Serine: AGA, AGG, AGU, AGC, UCA, and UCG
  • Proline: GGA, GGG, GGU, and GGC
  • Threonine: UGA, UGG, UGU, and UGC
  • Alanine: CGA, CGG, CGU, and CGC
  • Tyrosine: AUA and AUG
  • Histidine: GUA and GUG
  • Glutamine: GUU and GUC
  • Asparagine: UUA and UUG
  • Lysine: UUU and UUC
  • Aspartic acid: CUA and CUG
  • Glutamic acid: CUU and CUC
  • Cysteine: ACA and ACG
  • Tryptophan: AGU and ACC
  • Arginine: GCA, GCG, GCU, GCC, UCU, and UCC
  • Glycine: CCA, CCG, CCU, and CCC

Each amino acid has a specific set of anticodons that can pair with its corresponding codon during translation. These anticodons are essential for the proper formation of proteins and the functioning of all living organisms.

Reference

  • Rogers, H. H., & Griffiths-Jones, S. (2014). tRNA anticodon shifts in eukaryotic genomes. RNA (New York, N.Y.), 20(3), 269–281. https://doi.org/10.1261/rna.041681.113
  • Cell_ A Molecular Approach, Fourth Edition, The – Geoffrey M. Cooper & Robert E. Hausman.
  • Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry – 6th ed- c2013.
  • Cell Biology, T Devasena, Oxford University Press.

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