Before we get into particulars of
protein synthesis inhibition in brain ischemia, it might be worthwhile
to dust off the neurons that store what you learned, and promptly
forgot, about protein synthesis in college and med school.
First, lets' recall the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology, which
has to do with the flow of information in living systems. The Central
Dogma states that the information stored in genetic material flows from
DNA to RNA to protein, and not in the opposite direction. Information
can also flow from DNA to DNA in the process of DNA replication.
Figure: The Central Dogma.
The process in which information
contained in DNA is used to make RNA is known as transcription,
and the production of protein from information in RNA is called translation.
Basically, the Central Dogma asserts that the information encoded in
DNA is mostly used to make proteins. That is to say, most gene products are proteins. Note, however, that RNA itself can also be a gene product, if information
flow stops there.