messenger RNA(mRNA) definition, function, and Uses

In molecular biology, messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) is a single-stranded molecule of RNA that corresponds to the genetic sequence of a gene. In eukaryotic cells, mRNA is produced from genes that have been transcribed from the DNA of an RNA virus. For example, bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase, herpes virus, and retrovirus.

A messenger RNA sequence is complementary to a DNA sequence. And, encodes the protein that is translated from that DNA. A specific mRNA sequence in a cell can then be translated into a specific protein.

The process of mRNA translation is controlled by various regulatory factors. And also, the sequence information of the mRNA molecule is read out by the cellular machinery. RNA is made up of four nucleic acids:

  • Firstly, an amino acid,
  • Secondly, a uracil base,
  • Thirdly, an octal nucleotide, and
  • Fourthly, a phosphate group

messenger RNA definition and its discovery

Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a molecule in the cell that passes the DNA code from the nucleus to the site of protein synthesis in the cytoplasmic molecule, the ribosome. Information from the DNA is not decoded into proteins. But transcribed into a copy of the molecule (see transcription). mRNA was first described in 1956 by scientists Elliot Volkin and Lazarus Astrakhan. 

messenger RNA(mRNA) functions

Messenger RNA (mRNA) carries genetic information that is copied in the form of a series of three base-coding words that specify certain amino acids from DNA.

It translates proteins by the joint action of transfer RNA (tRNA) and the ribosome. It consists of multiple proteins and two large ribosomal RNA molecules (rRNA). The ribosomes bind to the tRNA and various additional molecules necessary for protein synthesis.

Ribosomes consist of large and small subunits, each of which contains its own RNA molecule or molecules.

Production of mRNA strand

During translation, the entire process is based on the sequence of mRNA that is used to combine amino acids into proteins.

There are three types of RNA involved in essential protein synthesis pathways in the cell, and the fact that the development of three different functions of RNA is a molecular key to the origin of life. 

messenger RNA (mRNA) Technology

Firstly, non-replicating RNA is the simplest type of RNA. Secondly, In vaccines, RNA strand is packaged and sent to the body, where it is absorbed by the body’s cells to produce antigens.

For RNA, there are instructions for immune cells, and the cells use these instructions to break down proteins into pieces. In vivo, self-reproducing RNA is pathogenic.

DNA vs messenger RNA

RNA strand that is packaged with additional RNA strands to ensure that it is copied into the vaccine cells. 

mRNA Vaccines

Scientists are developing a new type of vaccine. It uses a molecule called messenger RNA (mRNA for short) that is part of bacteria and viruses. Meanwhile, In cells, mRNAs use information from genes to create blueprints for making proteins.  

Messenger RNA (mRNA) in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine teaches cells to produce a protein that triggers an immune response in the event of an infection. When the vaccine is injected into the upper arm, messenger RNA enters the cell site of the injection and instructs the cells to begin producing the protein. The immune system recognizes the protein and begins to produce antibodies to the COVID-19 virus when it is infected.

If there is a dsRNA contaminant in a single-stranded mRNA molecule, it is released to the cell. Most important, It is the key component in the process of translating genetic information encoded in DNA into instructions. And then, cells can use to produce the proteins needed to perform essential cellular functions.

A promising gene technology that has encountered biological obstacles, however, is called synthetic messenger RNA. A refined variant of a natural substance that can control protein production in cells and the body. 

What happens during the transcription process?

During transcription, a gene encodes the amino acid sequence of a particular protein and transcribes the complementary sequence of it. However, Abnormal gene expression can be caused by mutations in DNA sequences that lead to incorrect instructions being transcribed.

Every molecule you are familiar with is a word. And the three-letter base of DNA is the word that encodes the cell’s gene language and the blueprint for protein production. To read the blueprint, the double-helical DNA is repacked to expose the individual strands and enzymes. And also, transform them into a mobile intermediate signal called ribonucleic acid (RNA) to read the blueprint. 

Dendritic cells in mRNA vaccines

Dendritic cells are not-replicating RNA vaccines. They are immune cells that can present other types of immune cells antigens on the surface to stimulate an immune response.

Most important, These cells are extracted from the patient’s blood. And then, transfected with the RNA of the vaccine. Further, it is given to the patient to stimulate the immune response. 

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This process requires a nucleotide triphosphate substrate that is catalyzed by the enzyme RNA polymerase II. In eukaryotic cells, there is a balance between the translation process and RNA decay. The RNA only integrates into the host genome when the RNA strand of the vaccine is degraded and a protein is produced.

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