GCSE Biology Week 6

DNA, protein synthesis and
mutations.
B2 1.6 A gene is a section of DNA that codes for a specific protein
B2 1.7 DNA (structure)
B2 1.9 How the structure of DNA was discovered
B2 1.22 DNA decides the order of amino acids in protein
B2 1.23 Stages of protein synthesis, including transcription and
translation
B2 1.24 Proteins specific number and sequence of amino acids
B2 1.25 Gene mutations can be harmful, beneficial or neither.

B2 1.6 A gene is a section
of DNA that codes for a
specific protein
B2 1.7 DNA (structure)

Chromosomes
and their genes
are made of a
molecule
called DNA.

DNA molecules carry the
code that controls what your
cells are made of and what
they do.

DNA stands for
deoxyribosenucleic
acid.
Each chromosome
is a very long molecule
of tightly coiled DNA.

A section of DNA is Called a gene!
Remember – an alternative form of a gene is called
an allele

Genes code for proteins!

Chromosomes and their genes are made of a
molecule called DNA. (deoxyribonucleic acid)
DNA is a macromolecule that carries
the code that controls what your cells
are made of and what they do (this is
the Genetic Code).

1952 – Rosalind Franklin and Maurice
Wilkins used X-rays to work out that
DNA was Helical.

B2 1.9 How the structure
of DNA was discovered

1953 Watson & Crick
worked out the
structure of DNA…

Nucleotides

The nucleotides
are made up of a
nitrogenous
base, a pentose
sugar and a
phosphate group.

(B2 1.7 DNA (structure)

Phosphate
group

Phosphate
group

Sugar

Pentose
Sugar

Nitrogenous
base

Nitrogenous
base

Nucleotides join to form a chain
The phosphate group of one nucleotide bonds with the sugar of another, releasing
water...

nucleotide

+

+ H2 O
Condensation

Poly-nucleotide

Formation of a Phosphodiester bond

The two helix chains are weakly linked by hydrogen
bonds that connect the complementary bases
together; adenine bonds to thymine, and guanine
bonds to cytosine.

Adenine pairs with Thymine
&
Guanine pairs with Cytosine.

Hydrogen bonding

“weak
Hydrogen
bonds link the
bases”.

Recap- DNA Structure

B2 1.7 DNA (structure)

Double strand of nucleotides
(complementary)

4 bases A, T, G and C


A=T
G≡C

The two strands are anti-parallel

2 types of bond:

- Weak hydrogen bonds
between the bases
- Strong phosphodiester
bonds between the
‘backbone’ sugars and
phosphates

Protein synthesis
B2 1.23 Stages of
protein synthesis,
including
transcription and
translation
B2 1.24 Proteins
specific number and
sequence of amino
acids

What are Proteins?
Proteins are polymers built up from amino acids.
It is the order of amino acids that determines the 3D
conformational shape and function of the protein.

But… How does a cell arrange the
amino acids in the correct order…?

The Triplet Code!

So, triplet base codes (codons)
are needed to build each amino
acid…

These triplet sequences are
called CODONS.

Note: CODONS are the triplets of base letters that code for
amino acids: DNA and mRNA have CODONS!

Codon

Codon

Codon

Codon

Codon

Table showing codons and corresponding amino acids, for
the insulin molecule (AAACACTTGGTCGTG)
Codon in DNA
AAA
GTC
ACG
GTG
TTG
GAG
CAC

Corresponding Amino
Acid
Phenylalanine (Phe)
Glutamine (Glu)
Cysteine (Cys)
Histidine (His)
Asparagine (Asn)
Leucine (Leu)
Valine (Val)

What is the order of amino
acids?

mRNA CODONS

Some amino acids have more than 1 codon
(Degenerate).
DNA and mRNA have Start & STOP codons.

Messenger RNA (mRNA)
Single helical strands of
several thousand
nucleotides.
It is produced in the
nucleus by transcription
of DNA.
It contains triplet
CODONS!

Transfer RNA (tRNA)
Single strand folded
into clover-leaf
shape.
Different types of
tRNA: each providing
a code for one amino
acid.
Used in translation
Has the Anticodon

ribosomal RNA (rRNA)
Made in nucleus.
Used in translation “Protein synthesis”

What is Transcription?

Transcription is a process that involves the
transcribing (converting) of genetic information
(e.g. a GENE) from DNA to RNA.

Transcription can be thought of in 3 phases…

Transcription can broken down into steps…

1) Initiation: RNA polymerase bonds to promoter sites
on DNA.
2) Elongation: mRNA is “copied” from DNA
3) The growing mRNA
strand protrudes from
the ‘transcription
bubble’.

5) Termination: At the end of a gene, a stop codon
causes mRNA to be released and DNA rewinds.

Before The mRNA exits the
nucleus via nuclear pores.
The non-coding parts
(introns) must be removed…
This is called RNA splicing!

Introns are the non-coding sections of
DNA & mRNA – introns are removed!
Exons (are Expressed): they are the
Coding sections of DNA & mRNA

Once the introns
have been removed,
the mRNA exits the
nucleus via nuclear
pores in the nuclear
membrane…

What is Translation?

Translation is a step in protein synthesis where
the genetic code carried by mRNA is decoded to
produce the specific sequence of amino acids in
a polypeptide (Protein) chain.
Translation follows Transcription (in which the DNA
sequence is copied (transcribed) into mRNA).

Translation can broken down into steps…

1) The code on the mRNA is used to assemble the
amino acids in the correct order.
2) Ribosomes bind to the mRNA and allows tRNAs to
attach.
3) Each codon on mRNA corresponds to a specific
anticodon on the tRNA.
4) tRNA molecules attach amino acids
5) Amino acids are joined by peptide bonds…
forming polypeptides (proteins)!

Mutations
Mutation = change in the base sequence of DNA
Change in base
of DNA

Change in base of
mRNA

Change in amino acid of
protein

Change in protein
structure

Change in
mRNA Condon
Change in protein
function

Change in cell function !!!

Mutations change an organisms DNA (at
the ‘Base level’ – i.e the bases are affected
in some way. There are three types of
mutation that can occur…

2. Deletion
3. Addition

1. Substitution

Mutations that occur can be
either:
1) Neutral – neither harmful or
beneficial.
2) Harmful
3) Beneficial

1) Neutral – neither harmful
or beneficial. Does not
affect protein structure
2) Harmful – alters protein
structure and causes
detrimental effects – e.g.
cystic fibrosis.
3) Beneficial – incurs an
evolutionary benefit –
e.g. antibiotic resistance.
2. D letion

1. Substetution

3. Adddition

The three types of mutation…

Substitution is when one base is
substituted for another.
This causes the codon for the amino
acid to change, however the rest of the
protein remains unchanged.
If the new amino acid is similar to the
original, then the protein’s structure
and function could remain the same.
If the amino acid is very different then
the protein could have a completely
different structure or shape.

Substitution mutation

1. Substitution

When a base is deleted from DNA
all of the following bases move
down. This means that every
subsequent codon is changed
which will result in a very different
protein at the end of replication.

2. Deletion
Deletion mutation

The differences that occur in the
gene after deletion depend on
where in the gene the deletion
occurs. If a deletion occurs near
the end of a gene then the
change can be only minor. If the
change is at the beginning of the
gene then there will be a far
more serious change.

An addition of a base
[where an extra base is
included in to the genetic
sequence].
Additions
have a very similar effect
to a deletion.

Addition mutation

3. Addition

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