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Because the DNA molecule is twisted over on itself, the first step in replication is to unwind the double
helix by breaking the hydrogen bonds. This is accomplished by an enzyme called helicase.

The exposed DNA strands now form a y-shaped replication fork.

DNA replication begins at specific sites called origins of replication. Because the DNA helix twists and
rotates d uring replication, another class of enzymes called topoisomerase cuts and rejoins the helix to
prevent tangling. The enzyme that performs the actual addition of nucleotides alongside the naked strand
is DNA Polymerase.

But DNA Polymerase can only add to the 3' inch end so to start off at 5' it needs RNA primer--short strand
of RNA nucleotides.

Once those are done, one strand called the leading strand are added continuously by DNA polymerase.
The other strand---lagging strand---is made discontinuously by Okazaki fragments.

These fragments are eventually linked together by the enzyme DNA ligase to produce a continuous
strand. Finally, hydrogen bonds form between the new base pairs, leaving two identical copies of the
original DNA molecule.

But when DNA is replicated, we don't end up with two entirely new molecules. Each new molecule has
half of the original molecule. This is called "semiconservative."

In short, here are the steps in concise form:

1. Helicase unwinds our double helix into two strands.

2. Polymerase adds nucleotides to an existing strand.

3. Ligase brings together the Okazaki fragments.

5. Topoisomerase cuts and rejoins the helix.

6. RNA primase catalyzes the synthesis of RNA primers.
In a nut shell The central dogma refers to the unidirectional transfer of sequential
information from DNA via an RNA intermediate to produce a protein. Basically, its how the
cell makes protein from DNA.
Central Dogma of Biology: DNA --> RNA --> Protein
DNA is the carrier of genetic information in organisms. What does that mean? Large
molecules in organism can have many functions: they can provide structure, act as
catalyst for chemical reactions, serve to sense changes in their environment (leading
to immune responses to foreign invaders and to neural responses to stimuli such as
light, heat, sound, touch, etc) and provide motility. DNA really does none of these
things. Rather you can view it as an information storage system. The information
must be decode to allow the construction of other large molecules. The other
molecules are usually proteins, another class of large polymers in the
body. Chromosomes are located in the nucleus of a cell.
Steps of Transcription
Transcription may be broken into five stages: pre-initiation, initiation, promoter
clearance, elongation and termination.
Transcription of DNA to RNA
Comparison of Transcription in Prokaryotes Versus Eukaryotes
Transcription - Pre-Initiation
Transcription - Initiation
Transcription - Promoter Clearance
Transcription - Elongation
Transcription - Termination
Transcription is the first stage of the expression of genes into proteins. In
transcription, a mRNA (messenger RNA) intermediate is transcribed from one of the
strands of the DNA molecule. The RNA is called messenger RNA because it carries
the 'message' or genetic information from the DNA to the ribosomes, where the
information is used to make proteins. RNA and DNA use complementary coding,
where base pairs match up, similar to how the strands of DNA bind to form a double
helix. One difference between DNA and RNA is that RNA uses uracil in place of the
thymine used in DNA. RNA polymerase mediates the manufacture of an RNA strand
that complements the DNA strand. RNA is synthesized in the 5' -> 3' direction (as
seen from the growing RNA transcript). There are some proofreading mechanisms for
transcription, but not as many as for DNA replication. Sometimes coding errors occur.
Translation involves taking the message that's in the messenger RNA and in a sense
decoding the message from the language of nucleic acids to the language of proteins
or polypeptides. For translation to happen, the messenger RNA goes to the cytoplasm
where it is attached to a cellular structure called a ribosome. Ribosomes are two part
molecular assemblies consisting of various proteins plus a special kind of RNA called
ribosomal RNA. Ribosomal RNA is involved in catalyzing some of the chemical
reactions of translation.
In addition to the ribosome, another kind of RNA called tRNA carries amino acids to
the mRNA when it is attached to a particular part of the ribosome's small subunit,
called a binding site. A critical feature of mRNA and how it is translated is the fact
that each three nucleotides in the mRNA is called a codon and it is the codon that is
translated. Thus the sequence of codons corresponds to the sequence of amino acids in
the polypeptide. You will see that the tRNA molecules have a set of three nucleotide
bases at one end that are complementary to a corresponding codon. The bases on the
tRNA are called the anti codon. This is critical because the anti codons make the
connection between the codons and the correct amino acids that go with each codon.
Scientists have cracked the code involved in translation and given a stretch of mRNA
can tell what the corresponding sequence of amino acids is. Learning how to do this
was one of the two or three big advances in the 20th century and has laid the
foundation for many advances in biotechnology as well as more basic biology such as
the study of evolution. This genetic code is virtually universal in that a particular
codon will usually translate to the same amino acid regardless of of the organism
doing the translation.

Thalidomide, first synthesized in 1953, was widely prescribed for morning sickness
from 1957 to 1962, but only outside of the U.S. In 1961 the U.S. Food & Drug
Administration wasglad it had not given approval, because thalidomide became
anathema when it was found to be seriously teratogenic (creating malformation in
embryos, from the Greek for "monster") having caused serious birth defects in more
than 10,000 babies. Now, a quarter of a century later, it appears that it may be a
miracle drug for such diseases as AIDS, leprosy, lupus, and tuberculosis. Within the
last year, and over the objection of groups focussed on the risk and seriousness of
birth defects, the F.D.A. has approved its use with strict safeguards to protect women
who are, or could become pregnant.
Since thalidomide has a stereogenic carbon atom, it exists as two enantiomers. Tests
with mice in 1961 suggested that only one enantiomer was teratogenic while the other
possessed the therapeutic activity. Unfortunately, subsequent test with rabbits showed
that both enantiomers had both activities.
In one sense this is not surprising, because it is likely that the same mode of action is
operative in both functions (in many cases it seems to be prevention of angiogenesis,
the development of new blood vessels).
In another sense the shared activity seems surprising, because one might expect the
enantiomers to interact quite differently (diastereomerically) with the chiral,
resolved molecules of nature.
The solution of this second riddle is that the enantiomers interconvert (the
compound racemizes) under physiological conditions. Thus the drug is being sold as
a racemate.

Optical Isomerism In Thalidomide

Thalidomide has just one chiral atom and so exists as
two enantiomers. The diagram to the right shows the
molecule without hydrogens. Notice that two of the
groups attached to the chiral centre are part of the same
ring structure. They are classified as two different groups.
since moving around from the chiral centre the order of
atoms is different each way. It is said the chiral atom has
two different views around the ring.

Two Images To Show the Enantiomers Of Thalidomide

The only difference is the
positioning of the functional
groups, yet it was believed
this affected much more than
the optical activity of the
(Click on images for 3D molfiles).
'S' Optical isomer 'R' Optical Isomer
Reminder of Naming
The Reality of Optical Isomerism In Thalidomide
Laboratory tests after the thalidomide disaster showed that in some animals the 'S'
enantiomer was tetragenic but the 'R' isomer was an effective sedative. It is now
known that even when a stereo selective sample of thalidomide (only one of the
optical isomers) is created, if administered pH in the body, can cause racemizing. The
means that both enantiomers are formed in a roughly equal mix in the blood. So, even
if a drug of only the 'R' isomer had been created, the disaster would not have been
averted. http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/thalidomide/optical2iso.html

Agar vs Gelatin
Both Agar and Gelatin are essential ingredients in the preparation of desserts worldwide. The main difference
between agar and gelatin is the source from which they are derived. Agar is a vegetarian substitute for Gelatin
since it is derived from a plant and has higher gelling properties.
Comparison chart
Agar Gelatin
Other Uses: Agar is used for conducting
microbiological tests, as impression
substance in dentistry, as a laxative
and in electrochemistry.
Gelatin is used widely
inphotography, cosmetics and
ammunition amongst others.
Usage: Agar is a chief ingredient in desserts
in certain parts of the world
especially in Japan.
Gelatin is a more popular ingredient
in desserts and confectioneries in
most parts of the world.
Form: The agar used in food comes in 2
forms strip agar and agar powder.
Gelatin comes in the form of
powder, granules or sheets.
Other names: Agar is derived from the Malay word
agar-agar known as jelly and is also
referred to as Kanten, China grass or
Japanese isinglass.
Gelatin, in common parlance, remains
the same but is known by several
other terms in the industrial context.
Definition: Agar is a gelatinous substance that is
originally made from seaweed.
Gelatin is a colorless and odorless
substance that is made from
thecollagen found
inside animal bones and skin.