what role does RNA play in cell life?

2 Answers

  • RNA is a mediator in many ways.

    It can make RNA-copies of DNA that serve as “code templates” to form proteins from them (protein synthesis) – they are called messenger RNAs or mRNAS. There are also some forms of RNA that carry the amino-acids (tRNA), which are the building blocks of protein, and match them to the code. Some kinds of RNAs are really small (siRNA, shRNA) and serve as regulators that actually stop other RNAs so that less protein is made.

    Some kinds of RNA are part of ribosomes (rRNA). Those are the “machines” that use the mRNA to make proteins. These are extremely interesting, because they work much like proteins themselves, instead of merely being a code. They are one of the reasons why it is possible that life started out based on RNA, not DNA. RNA can do both coding/replicating and protein work, which would make an RNA-based life-form much less complicated than life forms today.

    mtRNA (mitochondrial RNA) is the RNA of the mitochondria – the “energy factories” of the cell. Mitochondria simply carry some of their own genes and therefore also their own DNA.

  • RNA plays an important role in replication of mitochondria and chloroplasts and also cells

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