Sunday, February 27, 2011

RNA Synthesis

With over 20 years experience in custom synthesis for the biomedical research communities, BSI has developed the expertise to deliver custom synthesized RNA with quality that meets all your RNAi, siRNA, shRNA and other RNA projects.


RNA, like DNA, is a polymer of nucleotides. Each nucleotide consists of a sugar that is attached to a phosphate group and any one of four bases. The RNA polymerase, as it builds the chain of nucleotides, processes only one of the two complementary strands of DNA. This DNA strand is referred to as the template strand. The least confusing name for the other DNA strand is "the nontemplate strand.

Common RNA

Before the nucleotides are linked together, they exist separately as ribonucleoside triphosphates (NTPs). As shown below, the NTPs contain one of the four common RNA bases, A, C, G, and U, linked to a five-carbon ribose sugar, linked, in turn, to a chain of three phosphate groups. During RNA synthesis, a covalent, "phosphodiester" bond is formed between one of the three phosphate groups on one NTP and a hydroxyl group on another. The two other phosphate groups that were part of the original NTP are released.

RNA Synthesis

RNA synthesis is said to proceed in the 5′ to 3′ direction, reflecting the fact that the attachment of new nucleotides always occurs at the 3′ hydroxyl group of the growing RNA chain. RNA synthesis goes through phases that are typical of polymerization processes: initiation, elongation, and termination, yielding an RNA product of defined size and sequence.

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