Nucleic acids are one of the most important molecules found in abundance in all living things on earth. They are responsible for encoding, transmitting, and expressing genetic information into proteins. In 1869, the Swiss physician and biologist Friedrich Miescher first identified nucleic acids during his experiments. The information of the nucleic acids laid the basic foundation for genome and forensic science as well as biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The basic types of nucleic acid molecules are DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (Ribonucleic acid). Depending on the function, there are three universal types of RNA, as messenger RNA (mRNA),transfer RNA (tRNA), andribosomal RNA (rRNA). This article highlights the difference between RNA and mRNA.
What is RNA?
RNAs are single-stranded, polymerized molecules that have a number of unique characteristics including their polarity, electro-negativity, and size of molecules. Generally, RNA molecules are larger than proteins but smaller than DNA. Moreover, they are complementary in nature. These features enable extraction of RNA by ion exchange, ion-pairing reverse phase, size exclusion, and affinity. Moreover, nucleoids make up these monomers. Each nucleotide consists of a nitrogenous base (adenine, cytosine, guanine, or uracil), a ribose sugar with carbon numbered 1’ to 5’, and a phosphate group attached to the 5’ position of the ribose.
有三种类型的RNA分子:tRNA,信使RNA, and rRNA. Each of this type has a unique function in the process of protein synthesis. Despite their differences in major functions, all three molecules are biochemically similar. mRNA strand possesses the genetic code to produce a protein. The main role of tRNA is to bind to specific amino acids and transport them to the site of translation. Furthermore, ribosomal RNA is a component of the ribosome, and it assembles amino acids into a polypeptide chain and finalizes the protein.
What is mRNA?
Messenger RNAor mRNA is a type of RNA that carries genetic information to make proteins in a cell. In short, it acts as the intermediate between the gene and the polypeptide translation product. As a result of transcription, mRNA strands are produced in a cell. They carry coding information to ribosomes. Ribosomes act as the site of protein synthesis. In the ribosomes, these mRNA molecules transform into polymers of amino acids or proteins.
Furthermore, mRNA molecules do not have a long life in a cell, unlike other RNAs; mRNA of prokaryotes has a very short half-life (only a few minutes) whereas that of eukaryotes has competitively a longer half-life (e.g. six hours for mammalian mRNA). The size of these molecules in a cell varies considerably, depending on the length of the protein being synthesized.
What are the Similarities Between RNA and mRNA?
- mRNA is one of the three types of RNA.
- They are single-strand nucleic acids.
- Also, ribonucleotides are the monomers of both RNA and mRNA.
- Furthermore, both of them involve in protein synthesis.
- Moreover, they are present in the cytoplasm.
What is the Difference Between RNA and mRNA?
RNA is a nucleic acid that composes ribonucleotides while mRNA is one of the three types of RNA. So, this is the key difference between RNA and mRNA. Moreover, a functional difference between RNA and mRNA is that the RNA transports amino acids to ribosomes while some RNAs involve in assembly of amino acids into a protein. Whereas, mRNA possesses the genetic code to produce a protein.
Normally, mRNA sequences are longer than the other RNAs. Therefore, this is also a difference between RNA and mRNA. However, mRNA does not contain non-coding regions while other RNAs contain non-coding regions.
Summary – RNA vs mRNA
RNA stands for ribonucleic acid. It is a nucleic acid that composes ribonucleotides. There are three types of RNAs as mRNA, rRNA, and tRNA. All three types work together during the translation to produce a protein. mRNA carries the genetic code to produce a protein from a DNA template while rRNA and tRNA help in joining amino acids to ribosomes in the correct order as mentioned in the mRNA sequence and tRNA brings amino acids to ribosomes. In comparison to rRNA and tRNA, mRNA is short lived. However, mRNA sequences are longer than rRNA and tRNA. Thus, this is a summary of the difference between RNA and mRNA.
1. Cheriyedath, Susha. “Types of RNA: MRNA, RRNA and TRNA.” News-Medical.net, News Medical, 12 Nov. 2018,Available here.