Types of RNA (ribonucleic acid)

Types of RNA

RNA is a polymer of ribonucleotides, formed from DNA by transcription.     And it translates to protein to perform specific functions of cell. Types of RNA are:

Messenger RNA (mRNA):

  • mRNA carries the genetic information from DNA to Ribosome.
  • It acts as a template for protein synthesis.
  • It carries the information for the arrangement of amino acids in a polypeptide chain.
  • They are monocistronic in eukaryotes and polycistronic in prokaryotes (codes for many polypeptide chains).


Ribosomal RNA (rRNA):

  • Most abundant RNA found in cells.
  • They are the structural components of ribosomes.
  • They are 3 types in prokaryotes 5S, 16S23S.


  • 4 types in eukaryotes 5S, 5.8S, 18S, 28S.

  • Ribosomes play a structural and catalytic role in protein synthesis.
  • It helps in the attachment of mRNA and tRNA to ribosomes during protein synthesis.

Transfer RNA (tRNA):

  • tRNA is also called as “Soluble RNA” or “adaptor molecule“.
  • It helps in decoding the information present on the messenger RNA during protein synthesis.
  • It binds to activated amino acids and transfers them to ribosomes.
  • The Clover leaf model of tRNA – given by Holley.


3- D structure of tRNA is L – shaped.

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