Rnarna Interactions in Translation

The process of translation is rich in RNA - RNA interactions (which were discussed in Chapter 14 in the context of RNA processing). For example, in bacterial translation, the Shine-Dalgarno consensus sequence at the 5' end of the mRNA pairs with the 3' end of the 16S rRNA (see Figure 15.20), which ensures the binding of the ribosome to mRNA. Mutations that alter the Shine-Dalgarno sequence, so that the mRNA and rRNA are no longer complementary, inhibit translation. Corresponding mutations affecting the rRNA that restore complementarity allow translation to proceed. RNA - RNA interactions also take place between the tRNAs in the A and P sites and the rRNAs found in both the large and the small subunits of the ribosome. Furthermore, association of the large and small subunits of the ribosome may require interactions between the 16S rRNA and the 23S rRNA, although whether ribosomal proteins are implicated is not yet clear. Finally, tRNAs and mRNAs interact through their codon-anticodon pairing.

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