Hypermedia Glossary Of Genetic Terms
|Protein||A large molecule composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order; the order is determined by the base sequence of nucleotides in the gene coding for the protein. Proteins are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the bodys cells, tissues, and organs, and each protein has unique functions. Examples are hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.|
|Amino acid||Any of a class of 20 molecules that are combined to form proteins in living things. The sequence of amino acids in a protein and hence protein function are determined by the genetic code.
Amino acids contain a basic amino (NH2) group, an acidic carboxyl (COOH) group and a side chain (R - of a number of different kinds) attached to an alpha carbon atom.
Thus the general formula is:
|Base sequence||The order of nucleotide bases in a DNA molecule. Length is usually defined as the number of base pairs. Cf. sequence, DNA sequence.|
|Nucleotide||A subunit of DNA or RNA consisting of a nitrogenous base (purine in adenine and guanine, pyrimidine in thymine, or cytosine for DNA and uracil cytosine for RNA), a phosphate molecule, and a sugar molecule (deoxyribose in DNA and ribose in RNA). Depending on the sugar the nucleotides are called deoxyribonucleotides or ribonucleotides. Thousands of nucleotides are linked to form a DNA or RNA molecule. See also base pair.|
|Gene||The term coined by Johannsen (1909) for the fundamental physical and functional unit of heredity. The word gene was derived from De Vries' term pangen, itself a derivative of the word pangenesis which Darwin (1868) had coined. A gene is an ordered sequence of nucleotides located in a particular position (locus) on a particular chromosome that encodes a specific functional product (the gene product, i.e. a protein or RNA molecule). It includes regions involved in regulation of expression and regions that code for a specific functional product. See gene expression, allele.|
|Enzyme||A protein that acts as a catalyst, speeding the rate at which a biochemical reaction proceeds but not altering the direction or nature of the reaction.|
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