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Types of RNA

There are three main types of RNA, each of which serves a different role in protein synthesis.

  • mRNA (messenger RNA) acts like a 'blueprint'. It is complementary to the sequence on a section of DNA. It carries the information about the sequence of amino acids required to build a particular polypeptide.
  • tRNA (transfer RNA) is a clover-shaped RNA molecule. It transfers amino acids to their positions in the polypeptide chain based on the mRNA code.

  • rRNA (ribosomal RNA) is present in ribosomes and aids the synthesis of proteins. The ribosome is where mRNA and tRNA meet. The ribosome catalyses the addition of amino acids to the polypeptide chain.

RNA is involved in protein synthesis through the transcription (copying) of genes on DNA to mRNA and translation (conversion) of the transcribed mRNA into a polypeptide.