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Biology (translation) extremely confused, final is tomorrow

  1. Dec 19, 2006 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    8) Suppose the following DNA sequence was mutated from 5'-AGAGAGAGAGAGAGAGAGA to

    5'-AGAAGAGAGATCGAGAGA. What amino acid sequence will be generated based on this mutated DNA?

    A) glu-arg-glu-leu-leu-leu

    B) ser-leu-ser-leu-ser-leu

    C) ser-ser-leu

    D) leu-phe-arg-glu-glu-glu

    E) arg-glu-arg-glu-arg-glu

    3. The attempt at a solution
    DNA template strand: 5' AGA - AGA - GAG - ATC - GAG - AGA 3'
    mRNA strand: 3' UCU - UCU - CUC - UAG - CUC - UCU 5'

    But ribosomes read mRNA in the 5' to 3' direction.

    mRNA strand: 5' UCU - CUC - GAU - CUC - UCU - UCU 3'
    protein: ser - leu - asp - leu - ser - ser

    But this isn't one of the choices.

    I get C (ser ser leu) if I read from 3' to 5', because UAG is a stop codon, but I'm staring at a video that shows a ribosome reading the mRNA strand 5' to 3'. Where did I go wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 19, 2006 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Gold Member

    Based on wording on the question, you have to assume that the sequence they give you is the sequence that will be translated and not it's complementary sequence.

    Essentially the question gives you the coding strand and not the anti-coding/non-coding strand. Transcription from DNA to RNA is made using the non-coding strand.

    C is the right answer.

    For future reference, look at the wording of the sentence, if anti-coding/non-coding sequence is ever used, the question is asking you to create the complementary strand before starting translation. If coding strand present or non-coding strand is absent, you don't need to create the complementary strand.

    This is not fast and steady rule but it hold true most of the time.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
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