Can someone good in micro please help me? I'm lost.

  1. My professor gave us a bonus question and I have no idea how to go about answering it. He said to research for the answer, but I don't even know where to look or what topic it is. We didn't learn anything close to this type of question. We just finished anaerobes and aerobes. It's due on Wednesday so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

    How many nucleotides are required to synthesize a protein that has 11,390 amino acids?

    The only hint he gave us is that it's not a lot.
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    About Pinky05

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 20


  3. by   worf

    Maybe this will help...I am just now covering these nucleotides, but would it be 2?
    RNA and DNA?
    Good Luck!
  4. by   Sarah LnDHopes
    I would say 5 - adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine (DNA only) and uracil (RNA only).
  5. by   turbohound
    Simple, each amino acid is made up of a "codon" sequence of three adjacent nucleotides constituting the genetic code that determines the insertion of a specific amino acid.

    11,390 amino acids X 3 nucleotides for each amino acid = 34,170 nucleotides

    Since a typical protein chain contains millions of amino acids, this number of nucleotides really is "not a lot."
  6. by   NoviceRN10
    I'm real curious who's giving you the right answer . I am subscribing to find out.
  7. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    It's kind of a trick question, to me.

    When I looked at this yesterday, I thought the same thing as turbohound. Then I thought, "Well, if he wants it to be 'not a lot', perhaps he means how many types of nucleotides are involved" and came to the same conclusion as sarah0119.

    Then I thought perhaps he was driving at the number of nucleotides total, including the mRNA and the tRNA (now you have 2x the number referred to by turbohound). Then I thought, "Well, why ignore the nucleotides in the original DNA template?"

    I finally decided that the question was too vague to bother with any further, especially just as a bonus.

    Oh yeah. Pinky, the topics that you're looking for are "transcription", "translation", and "Protein synthesis" Google those puppies and you'll find far more than you ever wanted to know.
    Last edit by ♪♫ in my ♥ on Oct 17, '07
  8. by   Sarah LnDHopes
    Quote from anurse2be09
    I'm real curious who's giving you the right answer . I am subscribing to find out.
    I'm really curious too (though I have a suspicion it really is 5, since he did say not a lot.)

    Let us know the answer when you find out, Pinky!
  9. by   Pinky05
    Thanks guys! We didn't learn anything in this subject (we just got done with aerobes and anaerobes) so nobody knows how to do it. It was due today, but since none of us know how to go about trying to figure it out he's giving us until Monday. I'm still lost lol. It's not that you guys weren't helpful, but I don't even know what this whole topic or anything is.
  10. by   Sarah LnDHopes
    Ok, I'll try to explain.

    DNA & RNA are made of a sequence of thousands/millions of nucleotides.

    A nucleotide is one of the five things that I mentioned (adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine and uracil). Uracil replaces thymine in RNA.

    An amino acid is made by a code (codon) of 3 nucleotides. Rather, an amino acid isn't "made" but each codon of 3 nucleotides has an equivalent amino acid.

    A protein is made of amino acids.

    So your instructor could be looking for a few things.

    1) The number of types of nucleotides required to synthesize a protein (5)

    2) The number of types of nucleotides in a DNA strand that codes the protein (4) because Uracil is not a part of DNA)

    3) The number of nucleotides in a DNA strand that codes the protein (3x # of amino acids)

    4) The number of nucleotides required to make a protein (because DNA, transferRNA, messengerRNA and another I think are required to actually make the protein, but aren't all a part of the original DNA strand that codes for the protein.

    I'm sorry if I've confused you is actually pretty difficult to explain.
  11. by   Pinky05
    Hey guys, I finally got the answer. He had to wait until everyone turned in their papers to give us the answer. It is 34,179. 11,390 x 3 and then + 9 for the stop codon in each step in protein synthesis. I was close (34,173). I only counted 1 stop codon and forgot the other 2.