What situation did Archibald Garrod suggest caused inborn errors of metabolism?
Genes dictate phenotypes through enzymes that catalyze specific chemical reactions in the cell
Describe one example Garrod used to illustrate his hypothesis
Alkaptonuria: urine is black because it contains the chemical alkapton, which darkens upon exposure to air
State the hypothesis formulated by George Beadle while studying eye color mutations in Drosophila
Each of the various mutations affecting eye color blocks pigment synthesis at a specific step by preventing production of the enzyme that catalyzes that step
What strategy did Beadle and Tatum adopt to test this hypothesis?
They bombarded Neurospora with x-rays and then looked among the survivors for mutants that differed in their nutritional needs from the wild-type mold
Which organism did Beadle and Tatum use in their research? How did this organism's nutritional requirements facilitate this research?
Wild-type Neurospora. It can survive in the lab on a moist support medium called agar, mixed with only inorganic salts, glucose, and the vitamin biotin
How were Neurospora spores treated to increase the mutation rate?
They allowed them to grow on a complete growth medium, which consisted of a minimal medium supplemented with all 20 amino acids and a few other nutrients
Cite two significant findings that resulted from the research of Beadle and Tatum
1. The function of a gene is to dictate the production of a specific enzyme 2. Not all proteins are enzymes
What revision of detail did this hypothesis undergo as more information was gained?
Not all proteins are enzymes. Many proteins are constructed from two or more different polypeptide chains, and each polypeptide is specified by its own gene
Find 3 ways in which RNA differs from DNA
1. RNA contains ribose instead of deoxyribose
2. Has the nitrogenous base Uracil instead of Thymine
3. Consists of a single strand
What are the monomers of DNA and RNA? Of proteins?
In DNA or RNA, the monomers are the four types of nucleotides. The monomers of proteins are amino acids.
Central Dogma of Molecular Genetics
cells are governed by a molecular chain of command with a directional flow of genetic information. DNA->RNA->Protein
Describe Nirenberg's experiment in which he identified the first codon
Nirenberg synthesized an artificial mRNA by linking identical RNA nucleotides containing Uracil as their base. No matter where this message started or stopped, it could contain only one codon in repetition: UUU
Why is the genetic code said to be redundant but not ambiguous?
Because there are codons that specify the same amino acids but none of them ever specify any other amino acid
The triplet grouping of ribonucleotides used by the translation machinery during polypeptide synthesis
Which enzyme, DNA polymerase III or RNA Polymerase does not require a primer to begin synthesis?
What is the TATA box?
A DNA sequence in eukaryotic promotors crucial in forming the transcription initiation complex
What comprises a transcription initiation complex?
Transcription factors and RNA polymerase bound to a promoter
What are three important functions of the 5' cap and the poly-A tail?
1. They facilitate the export of the mature mRNA from the nucleus
2. They help protect the mRNA from degradation by hydrolytic enzymes
3. They help ribosomes attach to the 5' end of the mRNA once the mRNA reaches the cytoplasm
Distinguish between introns and exons.
The noncoding segments of nucleic acid that lie between coding regions are called intervening sequences or introns. The other regions are exons because they are eventually expressed.
What are snRNPs? What two types of molecules make up a snurp?
Small nuclear ribonucleoproteins that recognize splice sites. Made up of RNA & protein molecules
How do spliceosomes work?
They interact with certain sites along an intron, relaxing the intron and joining together the two exons that flanked the intron
Explain how splice sites are recognized
snRNPs form a spliceosome on a pre-mRNA molecule. snRNA base-pairs with nucleotides at specific sites along the intron
What commonly held idea was rendered obsolete by the discovery of ribozymes?
All biological catalysts are proteins
What are three properties of RNA that allow it to function as an enzyme?
1. Because RNA is single-stranded, a region of an RNA molecule may base pair with a complementary region elsewhere in the same molecule
2. Some of the bases in RNA contain functional groups that may participate in catalysis
3. The ability of RNA to hydrogen bond with other nucleic acid molecules adds specificity to its catalytic activity
What is the consequence of alternative splicing of identical mRNA transcripts?
A single gene can encode more than one kind of polypeptide
At the end of tRNA, a cleotide triplet which base-pairs with a complementary codon on mRNA
Scientists expected to find one aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase per codon, but far fewer have been discovered. How does wobble explain this?
Wobble explains why the synonymous codons for a given amino acid can differ in their third base, but usually not in their other bases
Describe the structure of a eukaryotic ribosome
A ribosome is made up of 2 large & small subunits. The ribosomal subunits are constructed of proteins & RNA molecules named ribosomal RNAs or rRNAs. In eukaryotes they are made in the nucleolus
How does a prokaryotic ribosome differ from a eukaryotic ribosome? What is the medical significance of this difference?
Those of eukaryotes are slightly larger and differ somewhat from bacterial ribosomes in their molecular composition. Certain antibiotic drugs can inactivate bacterial ribosomes without inhibiting the ability of eukaryotic ribosomes to make proteins.
What is a release factor? By what mechanism is termination accomplished?
A protein that binds directly to the stop codon in the A site.
The hydrolysis of two more GTP molecules
What are some of the things that will result in a final-form functional protein?
A polypeptide chain begins to coil and fold spontaneously as a consequence of its amino acid sequence, forming a protein with a specific shape
Describe three types of post-translational modifications
1. The attachment of sugars, lipids, phosphate groups, or other additions
2. Removal of one or more amino acids from the leading end of the polypeptide chain
3. A polypeptide chain may be enzymatically cleaved into two or more pieces
insertion or deletion or nucleotides that alter the frame of the genetic message, the triplet grouping of bases on the mRNA that is read during translation
Identify two mechanisms by which frameshifts may occur
Base pair substitutions & Base pair insertions or deletions
a point mutation changes a codon for an amino acid into a stop codon & causes translation to be stopped prematurely
How can a base pair substitution result in a silent mutation?
A change in base pair may transform one codon into another that is translated into the same amino acid
Describe the action of different types of chemical mutagens
Base analogs are chemicals that are that are similar to normal DNA bases but pair incorrectly during DNA replication. Some other chemical mutagens interfere with correct DNA replication by inserting themselves into the DNA & distorting the double helix
Describe two important ways in which bacterial and eukaryotic gene expression differ
A bacterial cell ensures a streamlined operation In the absence of a nucleus it can simultaneously transcribe & translate the same gene. The eukaryotic cell's nuclear envelope segregates transcription from translation & provides a compartment for extensive RNA processing