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•  Translation is the synthesis of polypeptides on ribosomes

•  Translation depends on complementary base pairing between codons on mRNA and anticodons on tRNA

Translation is the process of protein synthesis in which the genetic information encoded in mRNA is translated into a sequence of amino acids on a polypeptide chain

  • Ribosomes bind to mRNA in the cytoplasm and move along the molecule in a 5’ – 3’ direction until it reaches a start codon (AUG)
  • Anticodons on tRNA molecules align opposite appropriate codons according to complementary base pairing (e.g. AUG = UAC)
  • Each tRNA molecule carries a specific amino acid (according to the genetic code)
  • Ribosomes catalyse the formation of peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids (via condensation reactions)
  • The ribosome moves along the mRNA molecule synthesising a polypeptide chain until it reaches a stop codon
  • At this point translation ceases and the polypeptide chain is released

Overview of Translation


mr cat app

Translation Mnemonic

The key components of translation are:

  • Messenger RNA  (goes to…)
  • Ribosome  (reads sequence in …)
  • Codons  (recognised by …)
  • Anticodons  (found on …)
  • Transfer RNA  (which carries …)
  • Amino acids  (which join via …)
  • Peptide bonds  (to form …)
  • Polypeptides

Mnemonic:  Mr Cat App

Translation Animation