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By Phillip E. Pack Ph.D.

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When a cell is not dividing, the chromatin is enclosed within a clearly defined nuclear envelope, one or more nucleoli are visible within the nucleus, and two centrosomes (each containing two centrioles) lie adjacent to one another outside the nuclear envelope. These features are characteristic of interphase, the nondividing but metabolically active period of the cell cycle (Figure 2-5). When cell division begins, these features change, as described in the following sections. 28 CliffsQuickReview Anatomy and Physiology Figure 2-5 Stages of the cell cycle.

This newly created RNA molecule may be mRNA, tRNA, or rRNA (depending on which DNA segment is transcribed). ) Figure 2-9 Transcription and RNA processing. AAA Nucleus A DNA exon A template DN A G A C T 5' cap catalyst removing intron int ron Transcription (Steps 1, 2, 3) 4A P on 2 i n tr RNA Polymerase G U ex on G 3 terminator NA s t r a n d P C P new R AA intron 1 promoter A poly-A tail 4C 4B RNA processing (Steps 4A, 4B, 4C) ■ During RNA processing, newly crated mRNA molecules undergo two kinds of alterations.

Interactions among various parts of the tRNA molecule result in base-pairings between nucleotides, folding the tRNA in such a way that it forms a threedimensional molecule. ) One end of the tRNA attaches to an amino acid. Another portion of the tRNA, specified by a triplet combination of nucleotides, is the anticodon. During translation, the anticodon of the tRNA base pairs with the codon of the mRNA. ■ Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) molecules are the building blocks of ribo- somes. The nucleolus is an assemblage of DNA actively being transcribed into rRNA.

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