The molecular function of a piece of DNA occurs is a result of its
interactions with a series of protein
or RNA molecules,
regulatory proteins, transcription factors, etc. These bind the DNA at specific
positions, called docking sites, which often include recognizable
sequence motifs that indicate function.
Sites specific to mRNA transcribed
from the DNA are also
recognizable. Discovery and recognition of such sites in a novel DNA sequence may be clues to
understanding its information content.
Figures modified after
Griffiths et al. 2002, and
Gonnick & Wheelis 1991; additional text ©2011 by Steven M. Carr