The eukaryote and prokaryote mechanism for translation is slightly different. Is there any advantage of the eukaryote translation mechanism ?

Edit : I specifically want to know why eukaryotic ribosome first attaches to tRNA and then to mRNA but prokaryotic ribosome can do this in either order. Is there any advantage of the former ?

  • $\begingroup$ Is there any aspect in particular you are interested in? Such as Shine-Dalgarno versus Kozak, or what? $\endgroup$
    – Amory
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 1:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Amory Edited the question ! $\endgroup$
    – biogirl
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


As far as I understand it (and I'll preface this by saying that initiation is not my strongest point), but prokaryotes utilize the beautiful AGGAGG Shine-Dalgarno sequence. Usually around 8bp upstream of the start codon, it is this sequence that the prokaryotic ribosome seeks out to initiate translation. It does this through a complementary region in the 3' sequence of the ribosomal RNA. Upon complementary binding, the ribosome and mRNA are correctly bound. Convenient!

In eukaryotes, however, there is no consensus SD sequence, so a different mechanism must be used; the complex of 40S and Methionine tRNA serves this purpose. The two together scan the mRNA, looking for an AUG start codon which the tRNA is complementary to. This eventually brings the full ribosome (40S + 60S) together to start translation.


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