Transcription close up

Transcription is the first step in the process of decoding the information contained in a gene.

A gene is a section of DNA that contains the information needed to make a functional product, usually a protein. The first step in the process of decoding the information in a gene is known as transcription.

During transcription, a protein called RNA polymerase (blue in video) attaches to DNA directly, at the beginning of a gene. The DNA sequence is then used as a template to produce a new molecule, messenger RNA (yellow). This messenger RNA is made of a sequence of nucleotides, like DNA, and the sequence produced is complementary to the DNA template. Once RNA polymerase reaches the end of the gene, the messenger RNA strand is released and carried to a different location in the cell where it is used to make proteins and other molecules.     


Tags: video, DNA, RNA, messenger RNA, RNA polymerase, protein, transcription


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Animation by K Patterson, Visual Science Communicator / Garvan Institute of Medical Research. August 2018.
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.