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tRNA Paper Model


Transfer RNA (tRNA) "translates" the genetic code into the language of proteins. Each tRNA molecule binds to a specific amino acid on the acceptor arm, recognizes its corresponding code on the mRNA through the anticodon loop region and delivers the amino acid to a growing peptide chain in the ribosome for protein synthesis.

To build this paper model of tRNA, download and print the template PDF. Instructions for cutting and assembling are included.
Tip: This model involves a lot of cutting; teachers may wish to prepare materials ahead of class time.

Activity: Build the paper model and use a 3D viewer for further exploration.

Video: How to fold the tRNA paper model

Use the PDB-101 Browser to explore more resources and articles about DNA, RNA, and Protein Synthesis.


PDB structure: 4tna
Further refinement of the structure of yeast tRNAPhe
B. Hingerty, R.S. Brown, A. Jack
(1978) J.Mol.Biol. 124: 523-534

Molecule of the Month: tRNA
doi: 10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2001_3