RNA vs mRNA
RNA and mRNA are known as important biological macro molecules, categorized under nucleic acids. Nucleic acids are one of the most important molecules found in abundance, in all the living things on earth, and are responsible for encoding, transmitting, and expressing genetic information of them. In 1869, a Swiss physician and biologist, Friedrich Miescher first identified the nucleic acids during his experiments. The information of the nucleic acids laid the basic foundation for genome and forensic science as well as biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The basic types of nucleic acid molecules are DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (Ribonucleic acid). Depending on the function, there are three universal types of RNA, namely, messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), and ribosomal RNA (rRNA).
RNAs are single stranded, polymer molecules that have a number of unique characteristics including their polarity, electro negativity and the size of molecules. Generally, RNA molecules are larger than protein but smaller than DNA, and they are complimentary in nature. These features enable extraction of RNA by ion exchange, ion-paring reverse phase, size exclusion and affinity. The monomers are made up of nucleotides. Each nucleotide consists of a nitrogenous base (adenine, cytosine, guanine, or uracil), a ribose sugar with carbon numbered 1’ to 5’, and a phosphate group attached to the 5’ position of the ribose.
There are three types of RNA molecules; mRNA, tRNA and rRNA. Each of this type has a unique function in the process of protein synthesis. Despite their differences in major functions, all three molecules are biochemically similar. The main role of tRNA is to bind specific amino acids, transport them to the mRNA, and insert them in the correct location on the mRNA. Ribosomal RNA is the component of ribosome.
Messenger RNA or mRNA is a type of RNA which is functioning as the carrier of the genetic information that is needed to make proteins on the cytoplasm from the nucleus. In short, it acts as the intermediate between the gene and the polypeptide translation product. First these molecules are transcribed from DNA template, and then they carry coding information to ribosomes. Ribosomes act as the site of protein synthesis. In the ribosomes, the mRNA molecules are translated into polymers of amino acids or proteins. These molecules do not have a long life time in a cell. mRNA of prokaryotes has a very short half-life (only a few minutes) whereas that of eukaryotes has competitively a longer half-life (e.g. six hours for mammalian mRNA). The size of these molecules in a cell varies considerably, depending on the length of the protein being synthesized.
What is the difference between RNA and mRNA?
• There are three types of RNA; one of them is mRNA.
• RNA molecules have non-coding regions called introns but mRNA does not have these regions. mRNA contains only protein coding regions called exons.
• Normally, mRNA has more nucleotides than the other types of RNA such as tRNA. tRNA contains approximately 76 to 100 nucleotides while mRNA contains approximately 1000 nucleotides.