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What Is Cell Protein Synthesis?

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  • Written By: Eugene P.
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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Cell protein synthesis is the process through which deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is converted into amino acids that are subsequently combined into a protein for use by the body.‭ ‬The process begins‭ ‬with DNA‭ ‬in the‭ ‬center of‭ ‬a cell,‭ ‬also called the nucleus.‭ ‬After the DNA is copied onto a special ribonucleic acid (RNA) strand,‭ ‬that strand is moved into the outer area of the cell called the cytoplasm.‭ ‬Once in the cytoplasm,‭ ‬a large structure‭ ‬known as a ribosome combines RNA into amino acids and then arranges the amino acids together to form‭ ‬completed‭ ‬proteins.

The cell protein synthesis process begins with a function known as transcription that takes place in the nucleus of a cell.‭ ‬A special enzyme takes a single side of a strand of DNA and encodes the nucleotide sequence onto a specific type of RNA known as messenger RNA‭ (‬mRNA‭)‬.‭ ‬The mRNA then moves out of the nucleus into the cell‭’‬s cytoplasm.‭ ‬Here it meets with a complex structure called a ribosome to begin the next stage of the process.

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Once the mRNA has met with a ribosome, the process of translation begins.‭ ‬The ribosome reads and copies the nucleotide sequence from the mRNA onto another strand, known as transfer RNA‭ (‬tRNA‭)‬.‭ ‬The tRNA contains the exact sequence required to create an amino acid,‭ ‬also called a peptide.‭ ‬Within the structure of the ribosome,‭ ‬several peptide sequences are combined to make the base for a protein called a polypeptide.‭ ‬Polypeptides are one of the last steps in cell protein synthesis.

Polypeptides are released from the ribosome after carbohydrates are added. The result is a completed protein.‭ ‬Proteins come in many varieties but are commonly found either as long strands or as small globules.‭ ‬The long strands are used to build and maintain physical parts of the body, while the globules are primarily used to interact with cells,‭ ‬hormones and enzymes.

Inside the nucleus,‭ ‬cell protein synthesis cannot begin without the production of the necessary amino acids.‭ ‬These amino acids are created by combining different‭ ‬elements in a biochemical process involving special enzymes.‭ ‬Many of the compounds required to make the amino acids must be acquired through diet.‭ ‬Just more than half of the required compounds,‭ ‬however,‭ ‬can be produced within the body.

During the cell protein synthesis process, certain problems can arise.‭ ‬One situation that can occur is the introduction of RNA viruses.‭ ‬These viruses can reach a ribosome and corrupt the chain of peptide sequences leading to the production of viral proteins that can cause harm to the body.

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