There is a convention in defining the two strands of the DNA in the structural gene of a transcription unit. Since the two strands have opposite polarity and the DNA-dependent RNA polymerase also catalyse the polymerisation in only one direction i.e, 5' -3' polarity. The strand that has the polarity 3' - 5' acts as template, and is called template strand or non-coding strand. The other strand with polrity 5'- 3' and the sequence same as RNA, except tymine at the placeof uracil, is displaced during transcription. And this strand is called coding strand or sense strand or non-template strand.
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