Biology, Vol. 4 (Pr-Z) by Richard Robinson

By Richard Robinson

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This codon has the sequence AUG. Ribosomes are made up of two parts, called subunits, that contain both protein and RNA components. It is the job of the smaller ribosomal subunit to locate the AUG codon that will be used as the starting point for translation (called the initiation codon). Although always starting at AUG helps solve the reading frame problem, finding the right AUG is not an entirely straightforward task. There is often more than one AUG codon in an mRNA, and the small ribosomal subunit must find the correct one if the right protein is to be made.

Ubiquitin serves as a tag that marks the protein for degradation. A tagged protein is then sucked into a large cellular machine called the proteasome, which itself is made up of a number of protein components and looks something like a trash can. Inside the proteasome, the tagged protein is digested into small peptide fragments that are released into the cytoplasm where they can be further digested into free amino acids by other proteases. The life of a protein begins in one cellular machine called the ribosome and ends in another called the proteasome.

During the depressive phase, the person becomes increasingly despondent and inconsolable. It is estimated that between 15 and 20 percent of those with untreated bipolar disorder commit suicide, usually during a depressive cycle. Research has demonstrated a genetic link between this disorder and genes on chromosomes 18 and 21, though the significance of this is not fully understood. Treatment for bipolar disorder includes behavioral therapy, medications, and close supervision or support, especially during depressive phases.

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