- First the Amino Acid must be activated. This involves the addition of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), forming Aminoacyl Adenylate.
- Once the amino acid has been activated it can be attached to the tRNA. This follows the following scheme:
Aminoacyl Adenylate + tRNA –> Aminoacyl-tRNA + AMP.
See the following image from wiley.com, showing the structure of a tRNA molecule with amino acid attached. Note at the bottom is the mRNA strand.
As we know, tRNA is an adapter molecule that carries amino acids in an activated form to ribosomes for protein synthesis.
There is at least 1 tRNA molecule for each of the 20 amino acids.
It adopts a folding structure with internal base pairing and is about 75 nucleotides long.