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Chapter 17. ), chapter 12. Questions to Consider: 1. Now that the human genome has been completely sequenced, there still remains a significant challenge to determine the function of much of that sequence. Why should this be especially a challenge for eukaryotic organisms as compared to prokaryotes? 2. If only one strand of DNA is normally transcribed for any particular gene, why is it nonetheless essential for DNA to be a double-stranded molecule to serve its function? ©2004 The Teaching Company Limited Partnership 47 48 ©2004 The Teaching Company Limited Partnership Lecture Eleven From RNA to Protein Scope: This lecture completes the description of how genetic information in DNA finds its way to functional proteins through the process of translation.

This means that as much as 85% of the transcribed mRNA is cut out and not translated! C. The pieces of RNA that are cut out and thrown away are called introns, while the remaining pieces that are spliced together are called exons. D. The excision of introns and splicing of exons to form a final RNA transcript is done by a set of enzymes and catalytic RNAs known as snRNPs (small nuclear ribonucleoproteins), which act together as a spliceosome. snRNPs identify the ends of introns, break the RNA at these locations while maintaining a connection with the adjacent RNA pieces, then bring these pieces together physically and rejoin the broken strand.

F. The guanine cap and polyA tail appear to have two functions. First, they stitch up the ends of the RNA molecule, protecting it from degradation by enzymes that normally break down RNA. Second, they appear to increase the efficiency with which the final RNA transcript is translated into protein after it has left the nucleus. Several hypotheses have been advanced to explain the presence of introns. 1. One possibility is that the splicing process controls the rate and/or timing of processing mRNA strands.

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