Making proteins

An Example (with codon wheel)

An example of a DNA sequence might be


If you use our DNA decoder (codon wheel*), you can decode this triplet by triplet. Start from the inside of the wheel: find the first letter of your codon in the centre of the wheel and work outwards, through the second ring (with the next letter) and so on, to find the corresponding amino acid.

This would make the amino acid chain:

P - C - G - A - T - STOP


(*You can get a copy of a codon wheel from here. Have a look at more activities in our downloads section)

Check your answers from the codon wheel with our new codon cracker at right. Click on the coloured letter buttons to enter the triplet then click on translate to decode the triplet.*

Try decoding a longer sequence and looking up the protein it comes from with our Codon Cracker with Function Finder below.

Most proteins are actually much longer than this. Many of the proteins that make your body makes contain hundreds of amino acids. So if we know what the DNA sequence is, we can work out which amino acids the protein must contain and in what order.

*Please note that the codon wheel and codon cracker use the sense DNA codons (5' to 3'). See example.