When I first heard of tRNA it was in my biology class. When I looked at the picture and description of tRNA I just knew I had to write about sometime. And, here we are.
tRNA stands for “Transfer RNA”. To really understand tRNA have to first understand what RNA is and how it is different from the well-known DNA. The first difference is an easy one to point out. RNA is single-stranded, whereas DNA has two strands connected together by sugars, phosphates and nucleobases. These nucleobases in the DNA are found in the four different types:
RNA also has four nucleobases, but it leaves out thymine and replaces it with uracil. This makes RNA and DNA very different from each other.
But, back to tRNA. As you can see, from the featured image of this article, tRNA is shaped like a cross. When I first saw this I thought it was quite interesting, so I dug a little deeper to figure out the structure of tRNA. What I found was most interesting.
tRNA is quite a small nucleic acid. It only has about 73 to 93 nucleotides, whereas a DNA strand can number in the hundreds of thousands. But, when you are tRNA, size is not the best thing.
tRNA has one job: be a connecting link between other DNA and RNA molecules and the amino acid sequence of proteins. It can only do this job by carrying the amino acid to the ribosome. tRNA is told to do this by the mRNA, messenger RNA, which gives its orders through three small nucleotides. Amazing!
tRNA is an essential part to protein translation, which makes new proteins according to whatever needs to be done. Without tRNA we would like sufficient proteins for our body and we would, ultimately, not be able to do what we do every day.
Call it cheesy, but whenever I see an essential part of our body, or maybe a galaxy, I can’t help but think of what Paul said in 1 Colossians 1:17:
And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
Some translations write that as “all things hold together”. I just really find that interesting when such an important nucleic acid is shaped like the object our Savior died on. Amazing indeed!