DNA/RNA Synthesis

DNA/RNA Synthesis

Transcription is the first step of gene expression, in which a particular segment of DNA is copied into RNA (especially mRNA) by the enzyme RNA polymerase. Both DNA and RNA are nucleic acids, which use base pairs of nucleotides as a complementary language. During transcription, a DNA sequence is read by an RNA polymerase, which produces a complementary, antiparallel RNA strand called a primary transcript.

An Overview of DNA/RNA Synthesis

RNA synthesis, also called DNA transcription, refers to the process by which genetic information is transferred from a gene (DNA) to RNA to form an mRNA complementary to the DNA base sequence under the action of RNA polymerase. DNA Synthesis, also called DNA replication, is the biological process of producing two identical replicas of DNA from one original DNA molecule.

DNA consists of a double helix of two complementary strands. During replication, after the double strands are separated, each strand of the original DNA molecule is used as a template for the production of its counterpart for semi-conservative replication. Eventually, a new DNA is obtained which consists of the original DNA strand and the newly synthesized strand. The initiation of DNA and the synthesis of new chains are regulated by helicase and grow bidirectionally from the origin. DNA polymerase synthesizes the new strands by adding nucleotides that complement each (template) strand. DNA replication occurs during the S-stage of interphase.

The Inhibition of DNA/RNA Synthesis

DNA/RNA Synthesis inhibitors can be used as antibiotics. An example of such an antibacterial is rifampicin which inhibits bacterial transcription of DNA into mRNA by inhibiting DNA-dependent RNA polymerase by binding its β-subunit, while 8-hydroxyquinoline is an antifungal transcription inhibitor. (ETX0914; AZD0914) is a novel helical pyrimidinone, bacterial DNA gyrase/topoisomerase inhibitor. is a small molecule SMN2 splicing modifier that has entered human clinical trials for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy.

DNA/RNA Synthesis and Diseases

A number of diseased cancerous genes have been discovered, including growth factors, growth factor receptors, signal transduction factors, cycle regulators, transcription factors, and apoptosis factors and aging factors. These functional changes in genes lead to various characteristics such as uncontrolled proliferation or blocked differentiation of diseased or cancerous cells, which are essentially directly or indirectly related to DNA replication.


Matthew, J. Y., William, C. C. (2016) Human mitochondrial DNA replication machinery and disease. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development, 38: 52-62.

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