Function of the Ribosomes

The ribosome is an incredibly complex organelle found in all living cells. They serve as the main source of protein synthesis, or translation. Once the protein is created, it can fold in such a way as to produce a specialized three-dimensional arrangement.

The ribosomes' primary function is to link amino acids together in the sequence determined by the messenger RNA. Then, the attached chains are joined together by another part of the ribosome.

Ribosomes have two major components: the smaller subunit which reads the RNA, and the largerone which links different amino acids together to construct a polypeptide chain. These subunits are composed of one or more rRNA molecules and a variety of proteins. Together these are known as the translation apparatus. When a ribosome is finished reading an mRNA molecule, the large and small subunits split apart.

Ribosomes can differ in size and other characteristics, depending on the type of cell they belong to. These differences make it possible for certain antibiotics to work by killing bacteria through a process that inhibits their ribosomes, while leaving the host's ribosomes unaffected.


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