CENTRAL DOGMA OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Two essential features of
living creatures are the ability to reproduce their own genome and manufacture
their own energy. In order to accomplish these feats, an organism must be able
to make proteins using information encoded in its DNA. Proteins are essential
Proteins include enzymes that catalyze reactions
used to make energy. Proteins control cellular processes like replication.
Proteins provide channels in the membrane for cells to communicate with each
other or share metabolites. Making proteins is a key operation for all living
The central dogma of molecular biology states that information flows
from DNA to RNA to protein (Fig. 2.1). First, this chapter focuses on how RNA
is made from DNA in a process called transcription.
Next, the mechanisms used to control transcription are discussed. We then
discuss how particular RNA molecules called mRNA or messenger RNA
are used to make protein in a process called translation. Hopefully, by examining these processes, the reader
will gain an understanding of the complexity involved in engineering cells for
the purposes of biotechnology.
The central dogma of molecular biology is that
DNA is transcribed into RNA, which in turn is translated into proteins.