Synthesis of RNA is usually catalyzed by an enzyme—RNA polymerase—using DNA as a template, a process known as transcription. Initiation of transcription begins with the binding of the enzyme to a promoter sequence in the DNA (usually found "upstream" of a gene). The DNA double helix is unwound by the helicase activity of the enzyme. The enzyme then progresses along the template strand in the 3’ to 5’ direction, synthesizing a complementary RNA molecule with elongation occurring in the 5’ to 3’ direction. The DNA sequence also dictates where termination of RNA synthesis will occur.
RNAs are often modified by enzymes after transcription. For example, a poly(A) tail and a 5' cap are added to eukaryotic pre-mRNA and introns are removed by the spliceosome.
There are also a number of RNA-dependent RNA polymerases that use RNA as their template for synthesis of a new strand of RNA. For instance, a number of RNA viruses (such as poliovirus) use this type of enzyme to replicate their genetic material. Also, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase is part of the RNA interference pathway in many organisms.
Read more about this topic: RNA
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Famous quotes containing the word synthesis:
“It is in this impossibility of attaining to a synthesis of the inner life and the outward that the inferiority of the biographer to the novelist lies. The biographer quite clearly sees Peel, say, seated on his bench while his opponents overwhelm him with perhaps undeserved censure. He sees him motionless, miserable, his head bent on his breast. He asks himself: What is he thinking? and he knows nothing.”
—Andre Maurois (18851967)
“The invention of photography provided a radically new picture-making processa process based not on synthesis but on selection. The difference was a basic one. Paintings were madeconstructed from a storehouse of traditional schemes and skills and attitudesbut photographs, as the man on the street put, were taken.”
—Jean Szarkowski (b. 1925)
“In order to begin an analysis, there must already be a synthesis present in the mind.”
—Johan Huizinga (18721945)