RNA is the acronym for ribonucleic acid. It is a nucleic acid that is responsible for transferring genetic information from DNA in order to synthesize proteins according to the functions and characteristics indicated. RNA is present in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. Also, the RNA is composed of a simple chain that can sometimes be duplicated. It is made up of bonded nucleotides that form chains. Each nucleotide consists of: a sugar (ribose), a phosphate group and 4 nitrogen bases (adenine, guanine, uracil and cytosine).

RNA carries the genetic information of DNA for the synthesis of the necessary proteins. That is, the RNA copies the information of each DNA gene and then goes to the cytoplasm, where it binds to the ribosome to direct protein synthesis.

RNA begins to be studied in 1868 by Friedrich Miescher, also, he was the first person to investigate DNA and promote the study of nucleic acids. The international abbreviation is RNA for its acronym in English for ribonucleic acid. Click to see more definition.

RNA types

In reference to the above, we can distinguish the interaction of various types of RNA in genetic expression, among which we have:

  • Messenger RNA(mRNA): known as coding RNA, it has the genetic code that determines the scheme of amino acids to form a protein;
  • RNA transfer(tRNA): is responsible for carrying amino acids to ribosomes in order to incorporate them into the process of protein synthesis, likewise, it is responsible for encoding the information that messenger RNA possesses to a protein sequence and, finally,
  • Ribosomal RNA(rRNA): it is part of the ribosomes and acts in the enzymatic activity, it is responsible for creating the peptide bonds between the amino acids of the polypeptide in the protein synthesis process.

It is also worth mentioning ribozyme, which is a type of RNA with a catalytic function capable of carrying out its self-duplication when there is an absence of proteins. This characteristic is of great importance, since it has to do with the hypothesis that RNA was one of the first forms of life, prior to DNA, and that it allowed the first cell to form, since it contains stored genetic information and can self-duplicate.


Between ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) there are differences in their structure and function. RNA groups its proteins in a single helix while DNA groups them in a double helix. The nucleotides that make up the RNA are made up of ribose, a phosphate group and four nitrogenous bases: adenine, guanine, cytosine and uracil.

The nucleotides that form the DNA, on the other hand, are made up of deoxyribose, a phosphate group and four nitrogen bases: adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine, and it is always found in the nucleus. In reference to its functions, the DNA selects, stores and saves the genetic code, in turn, the RNA transmits the genetic code stored by DNA, that is, it serves as a messenger.

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