Transfer RNA (tRNA) is a small RNA molecule that participates in protein synthesis. Each tRNA molecule has two important areas: a trinucleotide region called the anticodon and a region for attaching a specific amino acid. During translation, each time an amino acid is added to the growing chain, a tRNA molecule forms base pairs with its complementary sequence on the messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule, ensuring that the appropriate amino acid is inserted into the protein.


Transfer RNA is that key link between transcribing RNA and translating that RNA into protein. The transfer RNA matches up via the anticodon to the specific codons in the messenger RNA, and that transfer RNA carries the amino acid that that codon encodes for. So it's a key link between the amino acid and the codon in the RNA.

- Elliott Margulies, Ph.D.