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Transcription and translation both involve the process of termination.


Termination of transcription occurs when the RNA polymerase recognises the stop codon on the DNA template which signals the stopping of synthesis of mRNA. Transcription of the stop codon causes mRNA to form a hairpin loop before it is cleaved from the DNA. RNA polymerase also dissociates from the DNA. The signal that causes termination of transcription in prokaryotes can take two forms; rho-independent and rho-dependent.


Termination during translation takes place when the stop codon on the mRNA reaches the aminoacyl site (A site) of the ribosome. At this point, the amino acid sequence dissociates from the ribosome and is released due to a release factor binding to the A site. Before the amino acid sequence is released, the final amino acid will enter the peptidyl site (P site).

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