Roles Played by DNA in Cells

DNA is long chain molecule that has a central role in life. The information encoded in DNA strands control organisms’ genetic make-up. The four roles of DNA are encoding information, gene expression, recombination, and replication.

The base sequence of C, G, A, and T along a strand of DNA are organized into units known as genes. A neighboring trio of bases, known as codon, specifies specific amino acids. Thus, base sequence in genes determines the amino acids sequence in proteins. Normally, amino acids are biochemical units of a cell’s function and structure.

Each cell has a full complement of genes. However, cells in different organs and cells behave and look differently. This is because only some DNA in each cell makes proteins. DNA acts as a traffic cop for the protein types a cell will make.

In the evolution of species, DNA plays a major role. Normally, chromosomal DNA doesn’t interact with each other. Nevertheless, through genetic recombination process, sections of different chromosomes exchanges places with each other, resulting in new sequence of genetic material. When such changes take place, new proteins are produced, which can be beneficial to an organism.

During cell division, the chromosomes that contain the DNA strands replicate themselves so that daughter cells get the full set of genetic material. When replicating, DNA double helix unwinds, enabling each strand of DNA to act as a template of a newly created complementary strand that makes a new double helix.

References

http://education.seattlepi.com/four-roles-dna-must-play-cells-4359.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26821/

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