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Prokaryotic Translation vs. Eukaryotic Translation: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Prokaryotic Translation occurs in the cytoplasm concurrently with transcription, lacks a 5' cap, while Eukaryotic Translation involves a 5' cap and occurs after transcription.
Prokaryotic Translation vs. Eukaryotic Translation

Key Differences

Prokaryotic Translation happens in the cytoplasm and can start while the mRNA is still being transcribed, unlike Eukaryotic Translation, which occurs in the cytoplasm but only after mRNA processing and transport from the nucleus.
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In Prokaryotic Translation, mRNA does not possess a 5' cap or a poly-A tail, features that are crucial in Eukaryotic Translation for mRNA stability and initiation of translation.
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Ribosome sizes differ, with Prokaryotic Translation using 70S ribosomes, whereas Eukaryotic Translation involves larger 80S ribosomes.
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Prokaryotic Translation often involves polycistronic mRNA, encoding multiple proteins, whereas Eukaryotic mRNA is typically monocistronic, encoding a single protein.
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The initiation of translation in prokaryotes begins at a specific sequence on mRNA, while eukaryotes utilize a cap-dependent mechanism, involving various initiation factors.
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Comparison Chart

Location of Translation

Cytoplasm, simultaneous with transcription
Cytoplasm, post-transcription
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MRNA Cap and Tail

No 5' cap or poly-A tail
5' cap and poly-A tail present
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Ribosome Size

70S ribosomes
80S ribosomes
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MRNA Type

Often polycistronic
Usually monocistronic
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Initiation of Translation

Specific sequence on mRNA
Cap-dependent initiation
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Prokaryotic Translation and Eukaryotic Translation Definitions

Prokaryotic Translation

Often involves polycistronic mRNA.
A single mRNA in Prokaryotic Translation can produce multiple proteins.
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Eukaryotic Translation

Protein synthesis process in eukaryotic cells.
Eukaryotic Translation occurs after mRNA leaves the nucleus.
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Prokaryotic Translation

The process of protein synthesis in prokaryotes.
Prokaryotic Translation occurs directly in the cytoplasm.
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Eukaryotic Translation

Requires a 5' cap and poly-A tail.
These features stabilize mRNA in Eukaryotic Translation.
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Prokaryotic Translation

Utilizes 70S ribosomes for translating mRNA.
In Prokaryotic Translation, smaller ribosomes are involved.
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Eukaryotic Translation

Occurs post-transcriptionally.
Eukaryotic Translation ensures accurate mRNA processing before translation.
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Prokaryotic Translation

Lacks a 5' cap and poly-A tail.
The mRNA in Prokaryotic Translation is simpler in structure.
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Eukaryotic Translation

Involves larger 80S ribosomes.
Eukaryotic Translation uses more complex ribosomal structures.
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Prokaryotic Translation

Can occur concurrently with transcription.
Prokaryotic Translation allows for rapid protein synthesis.
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Eukaryotic Translation

Typically uses monocistronic mRNA.
Each mRNA in Eukaryotic Translation typically codes for one protein.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Do prokaryotes have a 5' cap on mRNA?

No, their mRNA lacks a 5' cap.
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Where does Eukaryotic Translation occur?

In the cytoplasm, after mRNA processing.
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What is Eukaryotic Translation?

Protein synthesis in eukaryotic cells.
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What ribosomes do eukaryotes use?

80S ribosomes.
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Is Prokaryotic mRNA polycistronic?

Often, encoding multiple proteins.
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What is Prokaryotic Translation?

Protein synthesis in prokaryotes.
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Do eukaryotes have a 5' cap on mRNA?

Yes, it's essential for translation.
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What ribosomes do prokaryotes use?

70S ribosomes.
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Does Prokaryotic Translation require mRNA processing?

No, it's simpler and more direct.
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Where does Prokaryotic Translation occur?

In the cytoplasm, often alongside transcription.
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How does translation initiation differ?

Prokaryotes use a sequence on mRNA, eukaryotes use a cap-dependent mechanism.
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Can Prokaryotic Translation be simultaneous with transcription?

Yes, it's a key feature.
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How does mRNA stability differ?

Prokaryotic mRNA is less stable than eukaryotic mRNA.
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What's the role of a poly-A tail in Eukaryotic Translation?

It stabilizes mRNA and aids in translation.
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Does Eukaryotic Translation require mRNA processing?

Yes, including capping and adding a poly-A tail.
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Is there a difference in translation speed?

Prokaryotic Translation can be faster due to its simplicity.
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Is Eukaryotic Translation ever simultaneous with transcription?

No, it occurs post-transcriptionally.
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What is the complexity level of the translation process?

Prokaryotic Translation is generally simpler than Eukaryotic Translation.
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Is Eukaryotic mRNA monocistronic?

Usually, encoding a single protein.
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What's the role of a poly-A tail in Prokaryotic Translation?

Prokaryotic mRNA doesn't have a poly-A tail.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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