I have no idea what I'm supposed to do. Can someone please help me? What is the difference between gene expression and protein synthesis?

  • $\begingroup$ The difference between gene expression and protein synthesis is that of the whole to one of its parts. Note: not all genes code for proteins, but every gene codes for something. $\endgroup$
    – user37894
    Jan 16, 2018 at 9:43
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This is a really poor question. "I have no idea on what I'm supposed to do" What are you talking about? How should we know what you are supposed to do when you don't explain the context of your question? What level course are you following, what books are you using, how did this question arise? Please take the Tour explaining how this list works and read how to ask questions properly. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Jan 16, 2018 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


According to the homonymous article of Wikipedia

Gene expression is the process by which information from a gene is used in the synthesis of a functional gene product.

These products are often proteins, but in non-protein coding genes such as transfer RNA (tRNA) or small nuclear RNA (snRNA) genes, the product is a functional RNA.

enter image description here

As shown by this picture, gene expression consist of genetic transcription, that results in a mRNA, maturation of the mRNA (splicing, incorporation of a poly(A) tail, capping, ...) and finally protein synthesis by means of translation of the mature mRNA.

Again, the homonymous Wikipedia article tells us what is protein synthesis:

Protein synthesis is the process whereby biological cells generate new proteins [...]. Translation, the assembly of amino acids by ribosomes, is an essential part of the biosynthetic pathway, along with generation of messenger RNA (mRNA), aminoacylation of transfer RNA (tRNA), co-translational transport, and post-translational modification.

The following picture describes the process of mRNA translation by ribosomes that results in a polypeptide.

enter image description here

Once folded in its proper 3D structure, the polypeptide becomes a functional protein.

In order to work properly, some proteins need post-translational modifications, which is (citing Wikipedia again) the covalent modification of proteins following protein biosynthesis and goes beyond the scope of this answer.


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