Codon vs Anticodon
Everything about living beings has been defined by a series of information in the basic genetic materials that are DNA and RNA. This information has been laid out in DNA or RNA strands in an extremely characteristic sequence for each individual living being. That is the reason for the uniqueness of every single living being from all others in the world. The nitrogenous base sequence is the basic information system in DNA and RNA, where these bases (A-Adenine, T-Thymine, U-Uracil, C-Cytosine, and G-Guanine) provide unique sequences to form characteristic proteins with unique shapes, and those defines the traits or characters of the living beings. Proteins are formed from amino acids, and each amino acid has a characteristic three-base unit that is compatible with the bases in nucleic acid strands. When one of those base triplets becomes the codon, the other becomes the anticodon.
Codon is a combination of three successive nucleotides in a DNA or RNA strand. All the nucleic acids, DNA and RNA, have nucleotides sequenced as a set of codons. Each nucleotide consists of a nitrogenous base, one of A, C, T/U, or G. Therefore, the three successive nucleotides feature a sequence of nitrogenous bases, which eventually determines the compatible amino acid in the protein synthesis. That happens because each amino acid has a unit, which specifies a triplet of nitrogenous bases, and that waits a call from one of the steps in the protein synthesis to bind to the synthesizing protein strand at the proper time according to the DNA or RNA base sequence. The translation of DNA starts with a starting or initiation codon and completes the process with a stop codon, aka nonsense or termination codon. Occasional errors take place sometimes during the translation process, and those are called point mutations. A set of codons could be started to read from any place of the base sequence, which makes a set of codons in a DNA strand possible to create six types of proteins; as an example if the sequence is ATGCTGATTCGA, then the first codon could be any of ATG, TGC, and GCT. Since DNA is double stranded, the other strand could make the other three sets of compatible codons; TAC, ACG, and CGA are the other three possible first codons. Thereafter, the next sets of codons change accordingly. That means the starting base determines the exact protein that will be synthesized after the process. The number of possible sets of codons from RNA is three in one defined part of the strand. The maximum possible number of codon sequences from the nitrogenous bases is 64, which is the third arithmetic power of four. The number of possible sequences of these codons could be infinite, as the length on the protein strands vary greatly among proteins. The fascinating field of diversity of life starts its bases from the codons.
Anticodon is the sequence of nitrogenous bases or nucleotides resent in transfer RNA, aka tRNA, which is attached to amino acids. Anticodon is the corresponding nucleotide sequence to the codon in messenger RNA, aka mRNA. Anticodons are attached to amino acids, which is the so-called base triplet that determines which amino acid should bind to the synthesizing protein strand next. After the amino acid is bound to the protein strand, the tRNA molecule with the anticodon is shed from the amino acid. The anticodon in tRNA is identical with the codon of DNA strand, except T in DNA is present as U in the anticodon.
What is the difference between Codon and Anticodon?
• Codon could be present in both RNA and DNA, whereas anticodon is always present in RNA and never in DNA.
• Codons are sequentially arranged in nucleic acid strands, while anticodons are discretely present in cells with amino acids attached or not.
• Codon defines which anticodon should come next with an amino acid to create the protein strand, but never the other way around.