Building Blocks of Gene Expression: DNA to RNA to Protein Understanding the genetics of hearing loss can improve the quantity and quality of the information that those who work with individuals with hearing loss can share with their patients and clients. This understanding must start with a basic understanding of genetics in general. The general concepts of genetics can then ... Article
Article  |   November 01, 2014
Building Blocks of Gene Expression: DNA to RNA to Protein
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Robin E. Williamson
    Rochester, NY
  • Financial Disclosure: Robin E. Williamson has no financial information to disclose.
    Financial Disclosure: Robin E. Williamson has no financial information to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Robin E. Williamson has no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Robin E. Williamson has no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article.×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Articles
Article   |   November 01, 2014
Building Blocks of Gene Expression: DNA to RNA to Protein
SIG 8 Perspectives on Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance, November 2014, Vol. 15, 4-18. doi:10.1044/phi15.1.4
SIG 8 Perspectives on Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance, November 2014, Vol. 15, 4-18. doi:10.1044/phi15.1.4

Understanding the genetics of hearing loss can improve the quantity and quality of the information that those who work with individuals with hearing loss can share with their patients and clients. This understanding must start with a basic understanding of genetics in general. The general concepts of genetics can then be applied to the specific genes and proteins that are part of the hearing process, disruption of which can cause hearing loss. This article starts with a description of the central principal or mantra of genetics: “DNA to RNA to Protein.” Double-stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in the nucleus of a cell is used as a template from which ribonucleic acid (RNA) is transcribed, or expressed. RNA transcribed from DNA instructions moves from inside the cellular nucleus out into the cytoplasm where it can then translated into a protein. Proteins are the main functional components in cells. In general, they are what implement and control cellular processes. Each step in this process from DNA to RNA to protein is carefully regulated, and a small mistake or change in any component or step can make a big difference. This article finishes by describing how small changes can cause hearing loss.

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