Organization of template strands for transcription

    In any stretch of double-stranded DNA, portions of either strand may serve as the template strands for particular transcriptional units [dark green boxes]. In every case, RNA transcription proceeds in the 5' 3' direction [red arrowheads]. Not all of the DNA molecule is transcribed [grey boxes]. Remember that the 'Nontemplate strand' will carry the 'sense' of the gene: its 5' 3' orientation is the same as the RNA transcript

Figure © 2002 by Griffiths et al. ; text © 2011 by Steven M. Carr