DNA Replication and Transcription, Biology tutorial

Introduction to DNA Replication:

DNA is the genetic material which makes up the genes; it includes all the information required for the cell's growth, operation and division into two similar cells. Throughout replication, an exact copy of the DNA is made; having the existing DNA being employed as a template for the synthesis of latest DNA strands in the cell nucleus.

DNA as the sole genetic material of living organisms should be capable to replicate itself precisely if information is to be transferred from parents to offspring and from generation to generation. In most of the cellular organisms, replication of a DNA molecule occurs in the cell nucleus and takes place just before the cell divides.

Throughout replication the parent double helix DNA molecule uncoils if the hydrogen bonds among the nitrogenous bases are broken and as an outcome the double helix DNA starts to unzip and unwind. The unzipping makes two separate parent strands of DNA. Each parent strand becomes the template (that is, pattern) for the creation of a daughter strand.

The unzipping depicts chemical bonds on the purines and pyrimidines; the nucleoplasm is a reservoir of free nucleotides from which each A on the parent strand attracts a T nucleotide, each C attracts a G nucleotide and so forth. If the nucleotides are lined up they join altogether to make a polynucleotide chain, the DNA polymerase assists the nucleotides link up; by bonding the phosphate group of nucleotide to the sugar molecule of the adjacent nucleotide all through the side rail of the new DNA molecule. 

After each and every daughter strand bonds to the parent strands, the molecules twist again to a double helix, making two similar strands. Each new DNA molecule keeps half of the original DNA material and pairing of bases take place; this kind of replication is semi-conservative and complementary.

Introduction to DNA transcription:

Genes are the instructions for making specific proteins. However a gene doesn't build a protein directly. The bridge among genetic information and protein synthesis is the ribonucleic acid (RNA). The synthesis of RNA from a DNA template takes place throughout transcription.


The DNA molecule represents information needed for the building of a phenotype structure that is; the DNA is a molecule carrying a message which when passed in some manner to a manufacturing site and translated controls the formation of the individual structural units essential to the complete individual.

The DNA doesn't play any part in the manufacturing course however merely give instructions as to what shall be processed and how this must be done. The DNA carries its message in some form of code, this being presented by the sequence of the bases in the poly-nucleotide chain. Each sequence or message being equivalent to the gene. This DNA by its genetic code is positioned in the nucleus of cells and within chromatin and chromosomes. Whereas the protein synthesizing machinery (that is, ribosomes) of the cell is positioned in the cytoplasm, so the information should thus be transported from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. This usually happens was the code all along the DNA molecule is copied through a strand of mRNA. The copying of codon sequences from DNA to mRNA is termed as transcription. Transcription outcomes in RNA complement which comprises uracil (U) in all instances where thymine (T) would have occurred in the DNA complement.

If one codon on the DNA molecule is AAA the complementary Condon on a strand of mRNA would be UUU, TAT would write down as AUA. Then mRNA by a faithful reverse copy of the genetic code separates from the DNA template. The mRNA then passes via minute pores in the nuclear membrane and to the cytoplasm.

Dissimilar replication, transcription doesn't progress all along the whole length of a chromosome. Rather, certain portions of the chromosome are transcribed. The entire procedure is divided into the given phases: Pre-initiation, initiation, promoter clearance, elongation and termination.


The primary step in transcription is binding of RNA polymerase to a DNA molecule. Binding takes place at specific sites, the promotes, which are specific sequences of 20 to 200 bases at which some interactions take place or regions of DNA that promote transcription. A special promoter area has been recognized in eukaryotic organisms. It is a short DNA sequence recognized as a TATA box, as it is enriched by the nitrogenous bases thymine (T) and adenine (A) found 25 to 30 base pairs upstream from the short site of transcription. TAT box orient the RNA polymerase enzyme in such a way that synthesis proceeds from left to right.

It is as well the area at which the double helix opens to form the open promoter complex which is the binding site for a transcription factor termed as TATA binding protein (TBP) comprising the pre-initiation complex that is a highly stable complex and an active intermediate in chain initiation. It is in this complex a local unwinding or melting of the DNA helix takes place, which is essential for pairing of the incoming ribonucleotides.


Once an open-promoter complex has been made, RNA polymerase is ready to initiate RNA synthesis. RNA polymerase includes two nucleotides binding sites, termed as the initiation site and the elongation.

In eukaryotes, RNA polymerase doesn't directly recognize the core promoter sequences. Rather, a collection of proteins termed as transcription which are proteins required to initiate transcription however are not part of the RNA polymerase mediate the binding of RNA polymerase and the initiation of transcription. Just after certain transcription factors are joined to the promoter does the RNA polymerase bind to it. The completed assembly of transcription factors and RNA polymerase bind to the promoter, making a transcription initiation complex. Once active RNA polymerase is bound to the promoter area, the enzyme starts to separate the two DNA strands at the initiation site and transcription is ongoing.

Promoter Clearance:

After the first bond is synthesized, the RNA polymerase should clear the promoter. Throughout the promoter clearance there is tendency for the RNA transcript to be discharged to produce truncated transcripts in a procedure termed as abortive initiation. Abortive initiation continues to take place resultant in the transcription elongation complex.


One strand of the DNA, the template strand (that is, non coding strand), is employed as a template for RNA synthesis. As transcription carries on, RNA polymerase transverses the template strand from 3′→5′ direction and employs base pairing complementarily by the DNA template to make an RNA copy. Transcription proceeds in the 5′→3′ direction. This generates an RNA molecule from 5′→3′, an exact copy of the coding strand (by thymines substituting uracil and ribose sugar substituting deoxyribose in the sugar phosphate backbone). Throughout transcription multiple RNA polymerase can be comprised on a single DNA template and multiple rounds of transcriptions, so numerous mRNA molecules can be quickly produced from a single copy of a gene.

Elongation as well comprises a proof reading method which can substitute incorrectly incorporated bases. This might correspond by short pauses during transcription which let suitable RNA editing factors to bind.

Termination of Transcription

Transcription proceeds till the RNA polymerase reaches a termination site on the DNA. The series of nitrogenous bases which marks this site signals RNA polymerase to stop adding nucleotides to the RNA strand and discharge the RNA molecule.

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