Protein Synthesis

Proteins and Protein Synthesis

Proteins are complex molecules that build cells and tissues and create traits. Proteins are made by combining substances called amino acids together into chains, which are called polypeptide chains. Protein synthesis is the process of the making of proteins. Proteins are made in organelles called ribosomes located in cells.

What is DNA?

DNA(deoxyribonucleic  acid) is a type of nucleic acid located in the nucleus of cells. DNA contains the genetic information of your body, and instructions to build proteins. However, DNA cannot leave the nucleus, so it cannot transport the genetic instruction for protein synthesis to the ribosomes. It needs another nucleic acid to transfer the genetic information to the ribosomes. This nucleic acid is called RNA.

What is RNA?

RNA(ribonucleic acid) is another type of nucleic acid. You can think of DNA as a zipper; it has two strands. However, RNA only has one strand; half of a zipper. There are three types of RNA that help in the process of protein synthesis: Messenger RNA, Transfer RNA,  and Ribosomal RNA.


Messenger RNA

Messenger RNA(mRNA) is the type of RNA that transfers the genetic code in DNA to the ribosome. The genetic information in DNA is copied and sent to the mRNA, which takes it to the ribosome. The ribosome now has the “blueprint” to make proteins. All it needs now are the materials and the base.

Transfer RNA

Transfer RNA(tRNA) is the type of RNA that transfers amino acids to the ribosome; you cannot make proteins without amino acids. The order of amino acids determines the type of protein, and the genetic information tell the ribosome what order to put the amino acids.

Ribosomal RNA

Ribosomal RNA(rRNA) is what the protein is made on. It makes up part of the protein. The ribosome attaches to the rRNA, and protein production begins.



Protein synthesis is the process of making proteins, which are complex molecules that make tissues and cells, forming traits. These proteins are made in organelles called ribosomes. DNA contains the instruction to make proteins, but it cannot leave the nucleus so the genetic information is copied and sent to mRNA. mRNA takes the genetic instruction to the ribosome, and tRNA transfers amino acids to the ribosome. rRNA makes up part of the protein; it is what proteins are made on. Ribosomes use the genetic instruction, brought by mRNA, to order amino acids, brought by tRNA, into proteins. These proteins are created on the rRNA.