Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 1960


Understanding of protein synthesis in a living cell

Y. Mustapha1 and S. Muhammad2
  1Department of Biological Sciences, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria. 2Department of Biological Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 June 2006
  •  Published: 30 June 2006



The assembly of proteins takes place in the cytoplasm of a cell. There are three main steps. In initiation, far left, all the necessary parts of the process are brought together by a small molecule called a ribosome. During elongation, amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, are joined to one another in a long chain. The sequence in which the amino acids are added is determined by messenger, messenger ribonucleic acid RNA (mRNA), a transcribed copy of the cell’s deoxyribonucleic acid DNA. Termination, far right, takes place when the mRNA sequence contains one of several “stop” codons. At these, the ribosome-mRNA complex binds a release factor that causes release of the completed (protein) chain of amino acids. The released chain is called the primary structure of a protein. This paper outlines simple methods for students and teachers alike to help in understand the mechanism of protein synthesis in a living cell.


Keywords: deoxyribonucleic acid DNA, messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), amino acids codons