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Thread: What is the difference between RNA and mRNA?

  1. #1 What is the difference between RNA and mRNA? 
    Forum Freshman Samuel P's Avatar
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    I've been looking and I can't see the difference between messenger RNA and just RNA....

    Is it just me?

    Because RNA forms a complementary base sequence with DNA in the nucleus...

    and mRNA is a blueprint of the DNA to form an amino acid and therefore form proteins...

    But what is the difference between having a strand of RNA with a complimentary base sequence to a section of DNA and a strand of mRNA which is basically the same? Or is it different? Perhaps it's just the location... when it moves out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm... is it deemed to be mRNA simply because of its location?

    Help me out please guys ^_^.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    mRNA isn't the only kind RNA in the cell. You also have tRNA, miRNA, siRNA, and rRNA.


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  4. #3  
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    As an example, messenger RNA molecule can be considered the chemical encoded blueprint, transcribed from a DNA template inside the nucleus, and carrying the coded information required for the synthesis of proteins at ribosomes (cytoplasm), etc…etc… Evidently dissimilar to mRNA, transfer RNAs recognise codons, attach, and transport corresponding amino acids to the growing polypeptide chain. Another example could be ribosomal RNA, which in the central component of the ribosomes protein manufacturing machinery. Further yet, a large number of non-coding RNAs play a central role in gene regulation—expression, inhibition, etc….

    As shown above, RNAs can be distinguished not only by their size, sequence, or three-dimensional structure, but also by their specific functions. To answer the question differently, RNA may be considered as a class of molecules within which a number of subclasses exist (mRNA, tRNA, rRNA, etc…), each with their specific function--function of RNAs is determined by its particular structure (nucleotide sequence, 3-dimentional structure, internal folding, etc…).

    The classification and naming of all RNAs are simply based on their particular function/s, nothing else.

    PS:

    mRNA strands undergo post-transcriptional modifications, which occur in the nucleus before the RNA is translated. We still refer to these molecules as mRNAs, despite changes in its locality and chemical constitution.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman Samuel P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    mRNA isn't the only kind RNA in the cell. You also have tRNA, miRNA, siRNA, and rRNA.
    I realise that, but I was finding difficulty distinguishing between mRNA and RNA.

    Thank you Dupont, you've certainly made things a lot clearer for me ^_^.
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