ID #2160

I was wondering what prevents the tRNA anti-codon from binding randomly to the mRNA as soon as it gets out of the nucleus. Prof. Mehrtens said in lecture that nucleic acids naturally and spontaneously base pair to complementary and antiparallel sequences of bases... would this occur between the tRNA and the mRNA?

The answer to your question is "nothing." There's technically nothing preventing the type of interaction that you're proposing from happening, other than much of the mRNA surface being covered with proteins of various sorts for various reasons. But if it were to happen, nothing productive would come of it. It would just "sit" there for a moment in time until it probably gets knocked off by collisions of molecules. Remember, in the absence of a ribosome providing "protection," that tRNA would be associated with the mRNA by -- at best -- 9 hydrogen bonds. That's not a very stable interaction in the face of constant bombardment by other molecules, and would easily get dislodged.

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