Asked • 04/09/19

Is there a double helix RNA?

I wonder what is its function and if it can be the genetic material for a living organism. If not, why?

Shelli G.

Typically, RNA that is found in a double helix structure will still come from a single strand of RNA. This is evident with Transfer RNA (tRNA), which is involved in the synthesis of polypeptides (proteins). The single strand of RNA will contain complements to each other within its structure. These complements will come together to form sections of the molecule that are double stranded. Other types of RNA molecules that are double stranded include micro RNA (miRNA), small hairpin RNA (shRNA), and short interefering RNA (siRNA). These types of RNA are involved in a process called RNA intereference, which is a process of gene silencing. During this process, the double stranded RNA strands will form a complex that binds to messenger RNA (mRNA). When this occurs, the mRNA will become inactive or "silenced", and it will not be translated into protein.


1 Expert Answer


Michael L. answered • 04/10/19

New to Wyzant

4th year medical student - genetics is a core unit of our curriculum.

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