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Ribonucleic acid (RNA)
Ribonucleic acid (RNA, RNA) contains ribose, phosphoric acid and the bases adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and uracil (U) as building blocks. RNA occurs predominantly as a single strand (only some viruses contain RNA double strands from complementary chains). However, the chain can fold up in such a way that individual complementary sections form hydrogen bonds between the bases. In contrast to DNA, RNA can also show catalytic activity.
Different types of RNA with different tasks exist in the cell:
- mRNA (Messenger RNA) The mRNA is formed in the cell nucleus during transcription as a copy of the DNA and transported into the cytoplasm.
- rRNA (Ribosomal RNA) The rRNA is an essential part of the ribosomes. The ribosomes are responsible for translation, i.e. the synthesis of proteins after the mRNA has been presented.
- tRNA (Transfer RNA) The tRNA is a relatively small polynucleotide. They are required for the translation. An amino acid is bound to the end of the tRNA, the head contains the corresponding anti-codon. There is therefore at least one separate tRNA for each amino acid. In the ribosome, the dietRNA is attached to the mRNA and then the new amino acid is connected to the chain that has already been formed. In the tRNA (apart from A, C, G, U) there are also some rare bases.