By the end of this section, you will be able to:
- Describe the different steps in protein synthesis
- Discuss the role of ribosomes in protein synthesis
- Describe the genetic code and how the nucleotide sequence determines the amino acid and the protein sequence
The synthesis of proteins is one of a cell’s most energy-consuming metabolic processes. In turn, proteins account for more mass than any other component of living organisms (with the exception of water), and proteins perform a wide variety of the functions of a cell. The process of translation, or protein synthesis, involves decoding an mRNA message into a polypeptide product. Amino acids are covalently strung together in lengths ranging from approximately 50 amino acids to more than 1,000.