Central Dogma - The Definitive Guide | biology dictionary (2023)


The central dogma was established by Francis Crick in the late 1950s, who held that genetic information flows mainly from nucleic acids in the form of DNA and RNA to functional proteins during the process of gene expression. What makes the core dogma so groundbreaking is its correctness at a time when genomic research was still in its infancy. The central dogma of genetics does not describe the mechanics of protein synthesis, but it does tell us that gene expression follows an almost predictable pattern.

What is the central dogma of biology?

In looking at what the core dogma is, we must first understand the word "dogma" and why that isn't the best use of it. Crick later admitted that a better term would have been "principle".

A dogma is a set of principles that someone in authority holds to be true. This means that the central dogma of gene expression must always be true.Franz Crick, as the leading authority on molecular science in the 1950s and 60s, did not mean that these steps from DNA to RNA to protein could not be reversed. Rather, he suggested that this was the predominant direction in which gene expression flowed.

(Video) Genetics - Central Dogma of Life - Lesson 17 | Don't Memorise

Crick's idea in more ways than oneit isa dogma – without deoxyribonucleic acids and ribonucleic acids, protein synthesis cannot take place in living cells. In addition, once a piece of the genetic code has entered a protein, that protein is no longer able to alter the original DNA code sequence. In other words, we still haven't been able to prove that a naturally synthesized protein can rewrite DNA - the flow of information from the genome to DNA to RNA to protein within the confines of a cell is a dogma.

The basics of protein synthesis are not discussed in this article. The reader should be familiar with the protein synthesis steps of transcription and translation of nucleic acids, messenger and transfer RNA, ribosomes, amino acids, peptides and proteins.

Crick's Dogma - A Boy Scout

At the time of Crick's ideas, transfer RNA (tRNA) had not yet been discovered. Crick theorized that a small molecule must be present to transport amino acids to the ribosome—at the time, these organelles were called microsomes, and no one was sure of their role. Even current basic knowledge, such as the need for nucleic acids for protein synthesis, was still largely unknown in the 1950s, messenger RNA (mRNA) was only discovered in the 1960s; his research was published the following year. While many articles to this day argue about the central dogma of biology, Crick's theory was groundbreaking at the time. It was he who predicted that in the future we might be able to track evolution using gene sequences - a research area that is currently transforming the way we classify living organisms.

Crick also argued that the most important function of our DNA is to control protein synthesis. In a moment whereScientists knew very little about the role of genes, this was the best description of the relationship between DNA, RNA and protein when no one really knew what genetic information was made of or how it was used.

(Video) The Central Dogma: DNA to proteins (an animated lecture video)

We must therefore first place this theory in the correct historical framework. It may not be dogma, but its powerful message has propelled genetic research into the future.

Definition of Central Dogma

Another much-discussed point about Crick's dogma is its gist. ManyStudents are simply informedthat this theory is about the rigorous steps of transcription, translation, and protein synthesis.

However, the central dogma of molecular biology holds that the genetic information encoded in DNA is transcribed into mRNA, with each mRNA molecule carrying the information needed to make proteins. He claims that this sequenced flow can be reversed at certain points, but not from protein to nucleic acid. The unidirectional flow from transcription through translation to protein synthesis isnoo Dogma zentral.

The only dogma of Crick's theory (or premise) is, as yet to be seen, that genome sequences are altered by an intracellularly synthesized protein. In their eyes, it has been shown that there is reverse transcription between DNA and RNA; reverse translation between protein and RNA was not detected. Back translation would mean that the amino acids in a polypeptide or protein can recognize tRNA anticodons and assemble them into a new RNA molecule. This can be done synthetically in a laboratory but is not a natural intracellular process.

(Video) Central dogma of molecular biology | Chemical processes | MCAT | Khan Academy

Crick's dogma does not say that back-translation is impossible, but that it must occur through very different molecular mechanisms. Regarding prions (discussed later) there is reverse translation of the protein into the genome; However, this process requires specific enzymes that are not present in the normal cellular environment to recognize and bind to tRNA anticodons.

After all, the central dogma is not a single propositional statement, but an entire theory. If you look at the central dogma of the definition of biology from a non-scientific source, you will probably read about the flow of protein synthesis from DNA to protein via RNA. The central dogma diagram below is a typical fuzzy representation. This is sometimes referred to as the order of the central dogma. Crick's discovery is much more than a single statement and should never be absolute - he was aware that genetic research still had a long way to go.

Exceptions to the Central Dogma

The reverse transcription is sometimes included as a central dogmatic exception. As we have seen, Crick did not deny the existence of reverse flow between DNA and RNA. It also means that retroviruses provide no evidence of an exception to the rule. Retroviruses transcribe RNA into DNA using the enzyme reverse transcriptase. The only way to add retroviruses as an exception to the "rule" is in the form of extremely primitive retroviruses that lack DNA. Information flow can only take place between RNA and protein.

The other oft-cited exception to Crick's core dogma is the prion - in prions, abnormal proteins "replicate" themselves by changing the shape of surrounding proteins. They infect and change instead of reproducing. Infectious protein particles, only recently discovered, are unique. Although cases of "scrapie," a disease that caused sheep to scrape fences and trees, were recorded as early as 1732, very little historical evidence can point to the evolution of the prion. Like a natural protein that has been misfolded at some point, the prion contains no genetic material in the form of nucleic acids—the basic molecules of the central dogma. Once in the tissues of a living organism, they don't multiply, but rather affect similar proteins - often in the brain - and behave like role models. Other proteins change to mimic the prion's abnormal shape, converting other natural proteins into that shape. The original prion can be caused by a genetic mutation of the normal PrP protein, by transmission from infected sources such as meat and fungi, or as a spontaneous misfolding event. The latter cause is more likely in Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in cattle.

However, if - as Francis Crick made clear - you only relate the central dogma to cellular life, it remains true. So far there are no exceptions. Because prions and retroviruses are not cells. Viruses and prions are proteins. They need living organisms to reproduce and do not grow or produce their own energy; they are not "alive". At the genetic level, retrovirusesareliving, because they contain genetic material, they develop and multiply (albeit within a living organism). Prions contain no genetic material and are simply misfolded proteins.

(Video) Central Dogma: DNA to RNA to Protein

Central dogma and genetic medicine

Crick's core dogma applies to all biological cells (not retroviruses or prions) that contain DNA. To this day, no gene medicine refutes the central dogma. On the contrary, most research follows the assumptions made by Crick almost seventy years ago.

Genetic medicine can be used at various points within the steps of protein synthesis.

  • Replication: A piece of DNA is cleaved off to create a copy of the original.
  • Transcription: Transferring a piece of replicated DNA (template DNA) to mRNA.
  • Splicing: One or more unnecessary sequences (introns) are removed from the immature mRNA. Alternatively, different introns can be removed to produce different mature mRNA molecules.
  • Translation: The ribosome reads groups of three sequences (codons) in the mRNA at binding sites. Initiation and elongation factors bring the right matching anticodon of a tRNA molecule to each codon. Each tRNA carries a specific amino acid. Amino acids are linked together to form a polypeptide chain. As the chain moves through the ribosome, the polypeptide chain can begin to fold to produce a functional protein as the code is translated into a foldable protein. Other "companion proteins" are usually needed to help with the folding process; Splicing is also possible at this stage. Spliced ​​parts of a polypeptide or protein are called inteins.

To treat genetic diseases we can intervene in any of the above steps:

  • Gene therapy: introducing functional copies of genes to replace non-functional or disease-causing genes with viral vectors (carriers). Unhealthy cells are "infected" with health-promoting genetic information. When the recipient cells divide, the daughter cells contain the modified sequence.
  • Gene modification: turn gene transcription on or off. Many genes are only turned on at specific times or in specific cells by regulatory proteins that bind to noncoding regions of that gene's DNA. Repressor or activator proteins bind to these proteins, thereby repressing or activating the expression of that gene.
  • RNA Splicing: Certain proteins are sometimes not made due to mutations that block translation. This is called exon skip. For example, cataplexy is the result of exon skipping mutations in the gene that produces a brain-based receptor. RNA splicing can alleviate symptoms caused by exon skipping mutations. Genetic engineers insert a small piece of RNA (antisense RNA) that skips the disease-causing mutation. Although current (initial) research provides short and thus partially functional proteins, there is hope for many hereditary diseases.
  • RNA interference: When unwanted proteins are produced, often by overexpression or expression at the wrong time, it is possible to correct this by inserting small interfering RNA (siRNA) or microRNA (miRNA). These bind to a silencing complex and jointly break down corresponding mRNA molecules. This genetic therapy has the potential to silence any gene.

The next step in gene medicine is precision medicine, where disease treatment and prevention takes into account each person's genes, environment and lifestyle. This approach will take time, but it is certainly the future of medicine - the result of a groundbreaking theory from the mid-20th century that will endure well into the next century.


appear hide

(Video) The Central Dogma of Biology


What are the 5 steps of central dogma? ›

  • 1 Transcription.
  • 2 Splicing.
  • 3 Translation.
  • 4 Replication.
  • 5 Exceptions to the central dogma.
  • 6 See also.

What is central dogma explanation? ›

Central dogma. The central dogma of molecular biology is a theory stating that genetic information flows only in one direction, from DNA, to RNA, to protein, or RNA directly to protein.

Why is it called central dogma? ›

Coined by Francis Crick. And in his own words, "I called this idea the central dogma, for two reasons, I suspect. I had already used the obvious word hypothesis in the sequence hypothesis, and in addition I wanted to suggest that this new assumption was more central and more powerful."

What is central dogma diagram? ›

The central dogma illustrates the flow of genetic information in cells, the DNA replication, and coding for the RNA through the transcription process and further RNA codes for the proteins by translation. The concept of a sequence of interaction can be understood through the framework.

What is the 1st step in central dogma called? ›

The process of making protein from DNA is known as the “central dogma”. However, it is not a linear step, but instead requires two steps: Transcription and Translation, with an intermediate molecule, RNA.

Why is it important to learn about central dogma? ›

It provides the basic framework for how genetic information flows from a DNA sequence to a protein product inside cells. This process of genetic information flowing from DNA to RNA to protein is called gene expression.

What is the correct sequence of steps in the central dogma quizlet? ›

The central dogma of molecular biology describes the two-step process, transcription and translation, by which the information in genes flows into proteins: DNA → RNA → protein.

What is the central dogma theory quizlet? ›

Central Dogma definition. The central dogma of molecular biology describes the flow of genetic information in cells from DNA to messenger RNA (mRNA) to protein. It states that genes specify the sequence of mRNA molecules, which in turn specify the sequence of proteins .

What are the 3 major phases of translation? ›

Translation of an mRNA molecule by the ribosome occurs in three stages: initiation, elongation, and termination. During initiation, the small ribosomal subunit binds to the start of the mRNA sequence.

What are the 3 main stages of transcription differentiate each stage? ›

Transcription of a gene takes place in three stages: initiation, elongation, and termination.
Stages of transcription
  • Initiation. RNA polymerase binds to a sequence of DNA called the promoter, found near the beginning of a gene. ...
  • Elongation. ...
  • Termination.

How many processes are in the central dogma? ›

The two processes involved in the central dogma are transcription and translation. In eukaryotic cells, transcription takes place in the nucleus. It uses DNA as a template to make an RNA molecule known as messenger RNA (mRNA).

Who discovered the central dogma? ›

In September 1957, Francis Crick gave a lecture in which he outlined key ideas about gene function, in particular what he called the central dogma. These ideas still frame how we understand life.

Is the central dogma of biology true? ›

Thus, the Central Dogma of molecular biology is invalid as an 'absolute' principle: transfer of information from proteins (and specifically from protein sequences) to the genome does exist.

How the central dogma is evidence for evolution? ›

Central Dogma is a very crucial mechanism that relates to the evolutionary process. Replication and information storage activities were segregated from protein-translation processes and catalytic properties throughout the development of DNA.

Which event contradicts the central dogma? ›

Explanation for correct answer. The biggest revolution in the central dogma was the discovery of retroviruses, which transcribe RNA into DNA through the use of a special enzyme called reverse transcriptase has resulted in an exception to the central dogma; RNA → DNA → RNA → protein.

Why is the central dogma a two step process? ›

The central dogma is DNA replication and proteins synthesis. Two steps are necessary because one step delivers the message and the other step translates or interprets the message.

What are the exceptions to the central dogma? ›

RNA viruses or retroviruses are exceptions to central dogma because retroviruses form RNA from DNA by the process of reverse transcription. Since RNA viruses do not follow this unidirectional flow of information thus, they are exceptions to central dogma.

Does the central dogma always apply? ›

Does the 'Central Dogma' always apply? With modern research it is becoming clear that some aspects of the central dogma are not entirely accurate. Current research is focusing on investigating the function of non-coding RNA. Although this does not follow the central dogma it still has a functional role in the cell.

Can the central dogma be reversed? ›

Crick presciently noted that there was only one truly fundamental principle at the heart of the Central Dogma: there is no route of reverse information transfer from proteins to nucleic acids, i.e. no reverse translation.

What is the correct order of the translation steps? ›

Initiation: To begin translation, the ribosome on the mRNA must be assembled in the correct direction and the start codon must be found. Elongation: Elongation is when the polypeptide chain gets longer. Termination: Termination is the final step in the translation process.

What are the 4 steps of transcription in order? ›

The major steps of transcription are initiation, promoter clearance, elongation, and termination.

Which is the correct sequence of events in the central dogma? ›

The order is replication ---> transcription ---> translation.

What are the 4 basic concepts of translation? ›

Outlining of some of his statements will be enough to get his point of view on trans- lation process: 1) the translation must convey the source words, 2) the translation must convey the source ideas, 3) the translation must be read like the original, 4) the translation must be read like a translation, etc.

What are the 4 components required for translation? ›

The key components required for translation are mRNA, ribosomes, transfer RNA (tRNA) and various enzymatic factors. mRNA: mRNA carries the sequence information for the protein to be synthesized. Each three bases in mRNA are read as a codon; each codon codes for a particular amino acid.

What are the 3 molecules necessary for translation occur? ›

The molecules involved in translation are mRNA, ribosomes, and tRNA. During translation, messenger RNA (mRNA) attaches to the ribosome. The ribosome reads the mRNA in groups of three nucleotides called codons. Each codon codes for one amino acid.

What converts mRNA into a protein? ›

Rather, the translation of mRNA into protein depends on adaptor molecules that can recognize and bind both to the codon and, at another site on their surface, to the amino acid. These adaptors consist of a set of small RNA molecules known as transfer RNAs (tRNAs), each about 80 nucleotides in length.

How do you transcribe DNA into mRNA? ›

The enzyme that converts DNA into mRNA is called RNA polymerase, which attaches to the DNA double helix as shown here. Once attached, RNA polymerase can unwind the helix and begin copying one of the DNA strands to form an mRNA transcript of the gene.

What is mRNA called? ›

A type of RNA found in cells. mRNA molecules carry the genetic information needed to make proteins. They carry the information from the DNA in the nucleus of the cell to the cytoplasm where the proteins are made. Also called messenger RNA.

Does Covid follow the central dogma? ›

SARS-CoV-2 is a highly relevant example of information transfer that does not conform to the Central Dogma as it is often taught: as a positive-sense single-stranded RNA [(+)ssRNA] virus, its genetic information does not pass through a DNA stage.

Is the central dogma ever violated? ›

Regardless of the exact mechanisms, prions clearly violate the Central Dogma by enabling the information flow from proteins to the genome.

What part of central dogma is not always followed in viruses? ›

What part of central dogma is not always followed in viruses? The flow of information in HIV is from RNA to DNA, then back to RNA to proteins. Influenza viruses never go through DNA. The flow of information is from protein to RNA in HIV virus, while the influenza virus converts DNA to RNA.

How has the central dogma changed? ›

In 2012, Koonin refuted the “central dogma” idea that information cannot be transferred from proteins to the genome. This refutation is based on the genetic assimilation of prion-dependent phenotypic heredity, which is mediated by epigenetic mechanisms.

What is the most reliable evidence for the theory of evolution? ›

Perhaps the most persuasive fossil evidence for evolution is the consistency of the sequence of fossils from early to recent. Nowhere on Earth do we find, for example, mammals in Devonian (the age of fishes) strata, or human fossils coexisting with dinosaur remains.

What are the steps of the central dogma quizlet? ›

The central dogma of molecular biology describes the two-step process, transcription and translation, by which the information in genes flows into proteins: DNA → RNA → protein.

How does DNA go to mRNA? ›

During transcription, the DNA of a gene serves as a template for complementary base-pairing, and an enzyme called RNA polymerase II catalyzes the formation of a pre-mRNA molecule, which is then processed to form mature mRNA (Figure 1).

Why central dogma is important? ›

The central dogma of molecular biology explains that DNA codes for RNA, which codes for proteins. InThe Central Dogma, you can learn about the important roles of messenger RNA, transfer RNA and ribosomal RNA in the protein-building process.

What is the importance of central dogma of life? ›

It provides the basic framework for how genetic information flows from a DNA sequence to a protein product inside cells. This process of genetic information flowing from DNA to RNA to protein is called gene expression.

Is the central dogma always true? ›

Thus, the Central Dogma of molecular biology is invalid as an 'absolute' principle: transfer of information from proteins (and specifically from protein sequences) to the genome does exist.

What are the 5 transcription factors? ›

The most common GTFs are TFIIA, TFIIB, TFIID (see also TATA binding protein), TFIIE, TFIIF, and TFIIH. The preinitiation complex binds to promoter regions of DNA upstream to the gene that they regulate.


1. Central Dogma of Biology
(National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science)
2. DNA technology and evolution of the Central Dogma
3. Lecture 14 - The Central Dogma
(Thomas Mennella)
4. Transcription and Translation: From DNA to Protein
(Professor Dave Explains)
5. The Central Dogma of Biology
(DNA Learning Center)
6. What is the Central Dogma?
(The Explorer's Guide to Biology)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dong Thiel

Last Updated: 05/25/2023

Views: 6303

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dong Thiel

Birthday: 2001-07-14

Address: 2865 Kasha Unions, West Corrinne, AK 05708-1071

Phone: +3512198379449

Job: Design Planner

Hobby: Graffiti, Foreign language learning, Gambling, Metalworking, Rowing, Sculling, Sewing

Introduction: My name is Dong Thiel, I am a brainy, happy, tasty, lively, splendid, talented, cooperative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.