What is the Function of DNA? A Close Examination of the Blueprints of Life
MelixGXTM’s existence thrives on the functioning of DNA. We wouldn’t be where we are today if great minds of the past hadn’t stopped to ask, what is the function of DNA? DNA is a macromolecule that contains the information required for an organism to grow, thrive and function.
Ultimately DNA simply stores the information that your body needs to function. Specifically, the proper sequence of the components of DNA will lead to the production of different proteins. These proteins impact nearly every aspect of our being. The part of our DNA sequence that is unique, approximately 0.5% of the total chain, helps to create the characteristic traits and functioning that make you an individual. It also contains the instructions to create RNA. DNA and RNA are both nucleic acids. Nucleic acids are one of the four “molecules of life,” along with proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. The molecules of life get their title because of their vital importance to the formation of organisms.
DNA is constructed of nucleotide bases. These structures are the building blocks that are unique to nucleic acids. There are four types of nucleobases found in DNA, which can be labeled using the letters A, T, C, or G. Specific segments of this DNA chain are known as genes. Genes, which can contain a widely varying amount of nucleobases, are important portions of DNA that are related to a specific function or expression of your genetics.
Even though DNA function is vital, this nucleic acid doesn’t act directly on other molecules. Instead, specified enzymes utilize the genetic information of DNA and either replicate the DNA or create a protein that correlates to its sequence.
HOW ARE PROTEINS MADE? FROM DNA TO THE MOLECULES OF LIFE
The DNA molecule contains the genetic code required to build protein molecules. This code of nucleobases is transcribed in a specified manner to produce RNA. RNA and DNA are two of the most prominent nucleic acids. Their functions are intimately tied together and are crucial to the cultivation of life. The RNA molecule carries its inherent instructions from the nucleus of a cell, where the genetic material is stored, to the ribosome which produce the cell’s proteins.
Proteins are polymers. A polymer is a type of molecule that is made of smaller components, referred to as monomers. Amino acids are the monomers that are strung together to produce proteins. Amino acids have three major components. An amine compound (NH2), a carboxyl group (COOH), and an R side chain (varies for each amino acid). The varying side chains are what distinguishes each amino acid molecule from the other. Each portion of the amino acid has a specific function.
These amino acids are bonded together when the amine of one molecule and the carboxyl group of another come together. The amino acid loses a hydrogen, and the carboxyl group loses a hydrogen and an oxygen. In this dehydration reaction, a water molecule (H2O) is separated/removed and as a result, the amino acids are bonded together in a peptide bond. A few amino acids in a chain is known as a peptide. A large amount of amino acids in a row is known as a polypeptide. A complete chain of amino acids, which varies in length, is a protein's primary structure.
Once these chains are strung to their maximum length, they begin to take on a shape and a distinct structure. Here, portions of the chain fold in on themselves and bond via the attraction between different molecules. Every atom has a negative, positive or neutral charge. When the electropositive hydrogen atom is lightly bonded to an electropositive atom, it is known as a hydrogen bond. This initial shape bonded in place is the secondary structure. Typically, it appears as a helix or a pleated sheet
The tertiary structure is the third stage of protein formation. Here the protein begins to take on a more distinct globular shape. This structure utilizes many different forms of bonds and attraction/repulsion principals to stay in place. Throughout the formation of a protein, many polypeptides can come together. As the quaternary structure, or fourth structure, is pieced together, the globular shape condenses, and every portion of each polypeptide falls into the correct shape in order for the protein to function properly.
That’s how it’s done. Nature displays an incredible degree of accuracy and art as it produces and sustains life. Protein functions shape many aspects of our life and sensory experience so it’s useful to understand the knowledge behind them. At MelixGX, we are pursuing maximum human health and wellness via the information contained in our genomic sequence. Our experts are ready to unlock the potential of your genomic data, allowing you to harness the power of your biological inheritance.