Genetic Regulation and the Lactose Operon

ID #1406

I had a question regarding the first lecture on genetic regulation. On the bottom of the first page of handouts, I have written 20 AA/sec * 50 sec = 120 ATP per second. I don't understand where the 50 comes from. I would think that you would multiply the 20 AA/sec by the 6 ATPs used per amino acid to get the 120.

That "50" comes from the fact that you are trying to make (in this case) a 1000 amino acid protein, and in bacteria, translation occurs at an average rate of 20 amino acids per second. So it would take E. coli 1000/20 = 50 seconds to make this protein. You're right that if you're not talking about a specific protein, you can use the "formula" you wrote, but my example was for a particular protein. The numbers come out the same.

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