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Transfer ribonucleic acid

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noun, plural: transfer ribonucleic acids

A ribonucleic acid RNA involved in protein synthesis, particularly transporting specific amino acid to the ribosome to be added onto the growing polypeptide chain


Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a nucleic acid marked by being generally single-stranded, and composed of repeating nucleotide units of ribose sugar, phosphate group, and nitrogenous base. One of the main functions of RNA is for protein synthesis. There are three major types of RNA involved in this process: (1) messenger RNA, (2) transfer RNA, and (3) ribosomal RNA.

Protein synthesis is comprised of two processes, i.e. transcription and translation. Transcription is the process in which messenger RNA (mRNA) is produced based on a DNA template. The mRNA moves from the nucleus to the cytoplasm to reach the site of protein synthesis, the ribosomes. In the ribosome, translation occurs. It is when the amino acids will be joined together in a particular order as specified by the genetic code conveyed by the mRNA.

Transfer ribonucleic acid or tRNA is the RNA that transports the specific amino acid to the ribosome to be added onto the growing chain of amino acid. tRNA molecule has these two important regions:


  • transfer RNA
  • tRNA

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