The Role of Genetics in Protein Production

The process of making proteins, also called protein synthesis, is a series of steps each controlled by enzymes. Enzymes are non-living molecules that facilitate many processes in our body, especially those of making proteins. The interesting thing is, that enzymes themselves are in fact proteins and so our bodies are totally dependent on protein molecules to function.

Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. Think of each amino acid as a different coloured bead that goes onto a string. Different combinations of amino acids give different kinds of proteins. These could be those most commonly thought of like the proteins that make up our muscles. But in fact there are proteins right down to the cellular level that allow important molecules like glucose in and our of our cells. All of these proteins are made because of our genetic instructions.

Each and every cell in our body contains our DNA. This can be thought of as a genetic code, that makes us, us- It is the reason why each one of us is unique. Via a process called transcription, the DNA information is made into a new molecule called RNA. This is then read by an enzyme to make up a sequence of amino acids. This then folds in various ways to make a protein.