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DNA carries the genetic information Transmit to each daughter cell when cells divide. Gene Genome Chromosome Each chromosome contains a single very long DNA molecule composed of ~ 106 or more nucleotides in a specific sequence.


The genome is the entire DNA content of a cell, including all of the genes and all of the intergenic sequence The human genome contains ~ genes but the coding regions of these genes take up only 3% of the genome The yeast genome contains 6000 genes and has a more compact organization Prokaryotic genomes are small with very little space between genes Understanding the information contained in genome sequences will be the major challenge of the early 21st century.

Human Genome

Nuclear genome:

3 X 109 bp of DNA 24 linear DNA molecules (55 250 Mb) in a different chromosome. 24 chromosome : 22 autosomes and 2 sex chromosomes (X and Y)

Mitochondrial genome:

A circular DNA molecule of 16560 bp Located in mitochondria

1015 cells in adult human body:

Somatic cells diploid (2 autosomes and 2 sex chromosomes) Sex cells (gametes) haploid (1 autosome and 1 sex chromosome)


Polymeric molecules made up of linear, unbranched chains of monomeric subunits called nucleotides Each nucleotide: a sugar, a phosphate group and a base Sugar: 2-deoxyribose Bases: Adenine (A), Cytosine , Guanine (G), Thymine (T) Phosphodiester bonds Polynucleotide Double stranded Double helix Hydrogen bonds between complementary bases Base pairing: A and T, G and C


Sugar: 2-ribose Thymine (T) in DNA is replaced by Uracil (U) in RNA Rarely more than a few thousands nucleotides in length Usually single-stranded Base pairs might be formed between different parts of a single molecule mRNA, tRNA, rRNA


A segment of the genome that is transcribed into RNA The nucleotide sequences of DNA or RNA (virus) encode the genetic information The coding region of a gene: only ~ 3% of the genome The information contained in a gene is read by proteins that attached to the genome at the appropriate positions and initiate the gene expression. Genes in eukaryotes: discontinous Exon and Intron

Transfer of Genetic Information

DNA Replication Gene Transcription: RNA synthesis Genetic code or codon in mRNA Translation: Protein synthesis

DNA Replication

A complete copy of the genome must be made every time a cell divides Synthesis of DNA DNA replication has to be extremely accurate in order to avoid the introduction of mutations into the genome copies. Proof-reading mechanism


Errors in replication Effects of chemical and physical mutagens that directly alter the chemical structure of DNA Deletion, Insertion, Substitution Repair process:

DNA repair enzyme (DNA polymerase) Recombination Photoreactivation

Human Genome Projects

To obtain the complete sequences of human genome Genome sequences: the key to the continued development of not only molecular biology and genetics, but also biochemistry, cell biology and physiology molecular life sciences. A catalog containing a description of the sequence of every gene in a genome A comprehensive description of the molecular activities of living cells and the ways in which these activities are controlled.