Initiation of translation

The initiation of translation requires the small ribosomal subunit, the messenger RNA, "initiation factors", GTP and ATP .

With the hydrolysis of ATP and GTP, the initiation factors and small ribosomal subunit bind to the messenger RNA at the 5' end of the messenger RNA. The complex travels in the direction of the 3' end of the mRNA until the first "start translation codon" (AUG) is encountered.


The methionly transfer RNA binds to this complex and the complex travels down the messener RNA, starting at the 5' end until the first AUG (strart translation) codon is reached. The anticodon (UAC) of the methionly transfer RNA is complementary to the AUG codon and the hydrogen bonds of complementary bases are formed.

The large ribosomal subunit then joins this complex and and protien chain elongation enuses.

To see a cartoon of the intitation of translation click here: initiation of translation