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Insertion or deletion of a single letter can sometimes cause a frameshift mutation, in which the entire amino acid sequence of the resulting protein is changed.Sometimes errors during DNA replication can duplicate an entire gene or region of a genome.
During transcription, a strand of ribonucleic acid (RNA) is synthesized.
This messenger RNA (m RNA) is complementary to the portion of DNA that directed it—it has a complementary nucleotide at each point in the chain.
There is no task more important to the function of living cells than the synthesis of proteins.
Because proteins carry out so many different tasks, the mechanism to synthesize them is intricate.
Some DNA mutations are silent and have no effect, but others affect protein, essential molecules for life, that regulate whether the gene is active or not, make more or less protein or change protein synthesis altogether.
A mutation is a change in a DNA sequence brought about either by a mistake made when the DNA is copied or through chemical damage.Based in San Diego, John Brennan has been writing about science and the environment since 2006.His articles have appeared in "Plenty," "San Diego Reader," "Santa Barbara Independent" and "East Bay Monthly." Brennan holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.Once bound, the polymerase initiates the construction of m RNA (or other RNA molecules).Initiation of the synthesis of a new RNA molecule does not always lead to a complete synthesis.After transcription has taken place, the m RNA produced is not necessarily ready to direct the subsequent protein synthesis.Depending on the type of cell, segments of nucleotides may be removed or appended before the actual synthesis process takes place.Often, termination occurs when the newly formed section of RNA loops back on itself in a tight formation called a hairpin.Once the hairpin structure has formed, the last component is then a string of uracil residues.A specialized protein called an enzyme controls when transcription occurs.The enzyme called RNA polymerase is present in all cells; eukaryotic cells have three types of this enzyme.