Rna

Translation (on the ribosome) of RNA sequence into protein sequence and folding of protein into native conformation w

Protein 1

Protein 2

Protein 2

Protein 3

Formation of supramolecular complex

FIGURE 1-31 DNA to RNA to protein. Linear sequences of deoxyribonucleotides in DNA, arranged into units known as genes, are transcribed into ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules with complementary ribonucleotide sequences. The RNA sequences are then translated into linear protein chains, which fold into their native three-dimensional shapes, often aided by molecular chaperones. Individual proteins commonly associate with other proteins to form supramolecular complexes, stabilized by numerous weak interactions.

Although protein sequences carry all necessary information for the folding into their native conformation, this correct folding requires the right environment—pH, ionic strength, metal ion concentrations, and so forth. Self-assembly therefore requires both information (provided by the DNA sequence) and environment (the interior of a living cell), and in this sense the DNA sequence alone is not enough to dictate the formation of a cell. As Rudolph Virchow, the nineteenth-century Prussian pathologist and researcher, concluded, "Omnis cellula e cellula": every cell comes from another cell.

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