Transcription vs. Translation

Transcription is the synthesis of RNA from a DNA template where the code in the DNA is converted into a complementary RNA code. Translation is the synthesis of a protein from an mRNA template where the code in the mRNA is converted into an amino acid sequence in a protein.

Comparison chart

Edit this comparison chart

Transcription

Translation

Purpose The purpose of transcription is to make RNA copies of individual genes that the cell can use in the biochemistry. The purpose of translation is to synthesize proteins, which are used for millions of cellular functions.
Definition Transcription is the synthesis of RNA from a DNA template. Translation is the synthesis of a protein from an mRNA template. i.e., translating the DNA genetic information carried by mRNA to synthesize proteins.
Products mRNA, tRNA, rRNA and non-coding RNA( like microRNA) Proteins
Product processing A 5’ cap is added, a 3’ poly A tail is added and introns are spliced out. A number of post-translational modifications occur including phosphorylation, SUMOylation, disulfide bridges and farnesylation.
Location Nucleus Cytoplasm
Methods to measure and detect RT-PCR, DNA microarray, In-situ hybridization, Northern blot, RNA-Seq. Western blotting, immunoblotting, enzyme assay, Protein sequencing, Metabolic labelling, proteomics.
Initiation Occurs when RNA polymerase protein binds to the promoter in DNA and forms a transcription initiation complex. Promoter directs the exact location for the initiation of transcription. Occurs when ribosome subunits, initiation factors and t-RNA bind the mRNA near the AUG start codon.
Elongation RNA polymerase elongates in the 5' --> 3' direction The incoming aminoacyl t-RNA binds to the codon at A-site and a peptide bond is formed between new amino acid and growing chain. Peptide then moves one codon position to get ready for the next amino acid. It then proceeds in a 5' to 3’ direction.
Termination RNA transcript is released and polymerase detaches from DNA. DNA rewinds itself into a double-helix and is unaltered throughout this process. When the ribosome encounters one of the three stop codons it disassembles the ribosome and releases the polypeptide.
Antibiotics Transcription is inhibited by rifampicin and 8-Hydroxyquinoline. Translation is inhibited by anisomycin, cycloheximide, chloramphenicol, tetracyclin, streptomycin, erythromycin and puromycin.
Localization In prokaryotes = cytoplasm In eukaryotes = nucleus In prokaryotes = cytoplasm In eukaryotes = ribosomes on endoplasmic reticulum

Contents: Transcription vs Translation

DNA helix structure
DNA helix structure

edit Localization

In prokaryotes both transcription and translation occur in the cytoplasm due to the absence of nucleus. In eukaryote transcription occurs in the nucleus and translation occurs in ribosomes present on the rough endoplasmic membrane in the cytoplasm.

edit Factors

Transcription is performed by RNA polymerase and other associated proteins termed as transcription factors. It can be inducible as seen in the spatio-temporal regulation of developmental genes or consitutive as seen in case of house keeping genes like Gapdh.

Translation is performed by a multisubunit structure called ribosome which consists of rRNA and proteins.

edit Initiation

Transcription initiates with RNA polymerase binding to the promoter region in the DNA. The transcription factors and RNA polymerase binding to the promoter forms a transcription initiation complex. The promoter consists of a core region like the TATA box where the complex binds. It is in this stage that RNA polymerase unwinds the DNA.


Translation initiates with the formation of initiation complex. The ribosome subunit, three initiation factors (IF1, IF2 and IF3) and methionine carrying t-RNA bind the mRNA near the AUG start codon.

edit Elongation

During transcription, the RNA polymerase after the initial abortive attempts traverses the template strand of DNA in 3’ to 5’ direction, producing a complementary RNA strand in 5’ to 3’ direction. As the RNA polymerase advances the DNA strand that has been transcribed rewinds to form a double helix.

During translation the incoming aminoacyl t-RNA binds to the codon (sequences of 3 nucleotides) at A-site and a peptide bond is formed between the new amino acid and the growing chain. The peptide then moves one codon position to get ready for the next amino acid. The process hence proceeds in a 5’ to 3’ direction.

edit Termination

Transcription termination in prokaryotes can either be Rho-independent, where a GC rich hairpin loop is formed or Rho-dependent, where a protein factor Rho destabilizes the DNA-RNA interaction. In eukaryotes when a termination sequence is encountered the RNA nascent transcript is released and it is poly-adenylated.

In translation when the ribosome encounters one of the three stop codons it disassembles the ribosome and releases the polypeptide.

edit End Product

The end product of transcription is an RNA transcript which can form any of the following types of RNA: mRNA, tRNA, rRNA and non-coding RNA (like microRNA). Usually in prokaryotes the Mrna formed is polycistronic and in eukaryotes it is monocistronic.

The end product of translation is a polypeptide chain which folds and undergoes post translational modifications to form a functional protein.

edit Post Process Modification

During post transcriptional modification in eukaryotes, a 5’ cap, a 3’ poly tail is added and introns are spliced out. In prokaryotes this process is absent.

A number of post-translational modifications occur including phosphorylation, SUMOylation, disulfide bridges formation, farnesylation etc.

edit Antibiotics

Transcription is inhibited by rifampicin (antibacterial) and 8-Hydroxyquinoline (antifungal).

Translation is inhibited by anisomycin, cycloheximide, chloramphenicol, tetracyclin, streptomycin, erythromycin and puromycin.

edit Methods to measure and detect

For Transcription, RT-PCR, DNA microarray, In-situ hybridization, Northern blot, RNA-Seq is [Quiet vs Quite|quite]] often used for measurement and detection. For Translation, western blotting, immunoblotting, enzyme assay, Protein sequencing, Metabolic labeling, proteomics is used for measurement and detection.

Crick’s central dogma: DNA ---> Transcription ---> RNA ---> Translation ---> Protein

Genetic code used during translation:

edit References

Share this comparison:

If you read this far, you should follow us on:

"Transcription vs Translation." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 23 Jul 2014. < http://www.diffen.com/difference/Transcription_vs_Translation >

Stay informed Related Comparisons
Follow Diffen
Make Diffen Smarter.

Log in to edit comparisons or create new comparisons in your area of expertise!

Sign up »
Top 5 Comparisons Recently Compared

Comments: Transcription vs Translation

Comments via Facebook

Anonymous comments (3)

June 2, 2014, 11:22am

VERY HELPFUL THANKS

— 197.✗.✗.206
0

July 10, 2013, 10:55pm

real help. thanks

— 80.✗.✗.6
0

August 17, 2012, 11:39pm

Thank you for this amazing review of DNA!

— 98.✗.✗.155
0

share

Up next

DNA vs. RNA