1 Describe how the DNA code is translated into messenger RNA. DNA is translated into messenger RNA through transcription and translation. DNA is split through transcription and then it is translated to match into RNA. 2 How is the RNA molecule a “script” for the protein production process? RNA is a script for the protein production process because they set the RNA up to translate into a protein. 3 What is the function of hemoglobin in the body?
Hemoglobin functions in the body by giving oxygen to the blood.
4 Describe (in words) the effect of the mutation.
If only one base is affected, it is called a point mutation. This results from substitution. When segments are added or deleted, this is called a frame shift mutation. 5 Was the mutational effect greater in a substitution or a deletion? Explain your answer clearly. A mutational effect is greater in deletion because it affects the strand as a whole. However, with substitution, only one codon is affected.
6 Why do you think scientists call a substitution a “point mutation”? Why do you think scientists call a deletion (or an insertion) a “frameshift mutation”? A point mutation comes from substitution because it is only changed one codon. However, when codons are deleted or inserted, it changes the bases as a whole, called a frame shift mutation. 7 Note the two transcribed and translated DNA strips below. The two strips are identical except for a point mutation, where the 15th base was changed from a G to a T. Fill in the corresponding mRNA, tRNA, and letter in the blanks below for the mutated DNA strip.
In the space below, explain how this point mutation changes the protein.
Point mutation changes a protein because the codon will be changed, resulting in a different amino acid. 8 What is the difference between normal and sickle hemoglobin at the DNA, RNA, and protein (amino acid) level? Normal and sickle hemoglobin are different at the DNA, RNA, and amino acid levels because with sickle cell, there is a change in the codon, causing different bases as well as different amino acids. This would result in an altered hemoglobin production. 9 What type of mutation is the sickle hemoglobin mutation? Explain. A sickle hemoglobin mutation is a substitution because it is simply an altered form of hemoglobin S.
If it was deletion, the body would not make hemoglobin at all. 10 Glutamic acid (Glu) and valine (Val) are two amino acids with different molecular structures. (Glutamic acid is a strongly hydrophilic molecule, and valine is a strongly hydrophobic molecule. This is something you will learn more about in the next activity). Why do you think switching the hemoglobin gene’s sixth amino acid from glutamic acid to valine would affect the hemoglobin protein? Hemoglobin would be affected by swapping these amino acids because the protein would end up being hydrophobic, meaning that it rejects water. From this, we can conclude that regular hemoglobin needs to be hydrophilic.
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