The attachment of Amino Acids to tRNA – Aminoacylation

  1. First the Amino Acid must be activated. This involves the addition of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), forming Aminoacyl Adenylate.
  2. 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, showing the structure of a tRNA molecule with amino acid attached. Note at the bottom is the mRNA strand.

– tRNA

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.

9 thoughts on “The attachment of Amino Acids to tRNA – Aminoacylation

    1. dave Post author

      You would normally see Uracil instead of Thymine on RNA but tRNA has many modifications, one of which can result in Thymines being present on tRNA (as well as Uracils).

  1. pragya

    tks the information given is sufficient but it would be more nice & easily understodale if u can show various steps by diagrams it would be more nice if u give 3D representation. OTHERWISE ITS TOO GOOD hope ulike the suggestion & u will do something. and if u cant then dont worry its just a suggestion.


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