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organelle responsible for protein synthesis


organelle responsible for protein synthesis

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What Is a ribosome ?

A ribosome is a cellular particle made of RNA and protein that serves as the site for protein synthesis in the cell. The ribosome reads the sequence of the messenger RNA (mRNA) and, using the genetic code, translates the sequence of RNA bases into a sequence of amino acids.


Ribosomes are a part of the protein-generating factory in the cell

Ribosomes are a part of the protein-generating factory in the cell.

The ribosome itself is a two-subunit structure that binds to messenger RNA. And this structure acts as a docking station for the transfer RNA

that contains the amino acid that will then become part of the growing polypeptide chain, which eventually becomes the protein.

All living cells contain ribosomes

All living cells contain ribosomes, tiny organelles composed of approximately 60 percent ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and 40 percent protein. However, though they are generally described as organelles,

it is important to note that ribosomes are not bound by a membrane and are much smaller than other organelles.

Some cell types may hold a few million ribosomes, but several thousand is more typical.

The organelles require the use of an electron microscope to be visually detected.




bound to the endoplasmic reticulum

Ribosomes are mainly found bound to the endoplasmic reticulum and the nuclear envelope, as well as freely scattered throughout the cytoplasm, depending upon whether the cell is plant, animal, or bacteria.

The organelles serve as the protein production machinery for the cell and are consequently most abundant in cells that are active in protein synthesis, such as pancreas and brain cells.


internal use

Some of the proteins synthesized by ribosomes are for the cell’s own internal use, especially those that are produced by free ribosomes.

Many of the proteins produced by bound ribosomes, however, are transported outside of the cell.
In eukaryotes, the rRNA in ribosomes is organized into four strands, and in prokaryotes, three strands. Eukaryote ribosomes are produced and assembled in the nucleolus.


Ribosomal proteins enter the nucleolus and combine with the four rRNA strands to create the two ribosomal subunits (one small and one large) that will make up the completed ribosome (see Figure 1).

The ribosome units leave the nucleus through the nuclear pores and unite once in the cytoplasm for the purpose of protein synthesis.


When protein production is not being carried out

When protein production is not being carried out, the two subunits of a ribosome are separated.
In 2000, the complete three-dimensional structure of the large and small subunits of a ribosome was established.

Evidence based on this structure suggests, as had long been assumed, that it is the rRNA that provides the ribosome with its basic formation and functionality, not proteins.

Apparently the proteins in a ribosome help fill in structural gaps and enhance protein synthesis, although the process can take place in their absence, albeit at a much slower rate.
The units of a ribosome are often described by their Svedberg (s) values,

which are based upon their rate of sedimentation in a centrifuge.

The ribosomes in a eukaryotic cell generally have a Svedberg value of 80S and are comprised of 40s and 60s subunits. Prokaryotic cells, on the other hand, contain 70S ribosomes, each of which consists of a 30s and a 50s subunit.

As demonstrated by these values, Svedberg units are not additive, so the values of the two subunits of a ribosome do not add up to the Svedberg value of the entire organelle.

This is because the rate of sedimentation of a molecule depends upon its size and shape,

rather than simply its molecular weight.

RNA molecules and rRNA.

Protein synthesis requires the assistance of two other kinds of RNA molecules in addition to rRNA. Messenger RNA (mRNA) provides the template of instructions from the cellular DNA for building a specific protein. Transfer RNA (tRNA) brings the protein building blocks, amino acids, to the ribosome.

organelle responsible for protein synthesis
organelle responsible for protein synthesis

There are three adjacent tRNA binding sites on a ribosome

There are three adjacent tRNA binding sites on a ribosome: the aminoacyl binding site for a tRNA molecule attached to the next amino acid in the protein (as illustrated in Figure 1), the peptidyl binding site for the central tRNA molecule containing the growing peptide chain, and an exit binding site to discharge used tRNA molecules from the ribosome.
Once the protein backbone amino acids are polymerized, the ribosome releases the protein and it is transported to the cytoplasm in prokaryotes or to the Golgi apparatus in eukaryotes.

There, the proteins are completed and released inside or outside the cell. Ribosomes are very efficient organelles. A single ribosome in a eukaryotic cell can add 2 amino acids to a protein chain every second.

In prokaryotes, ribosomes can work even faster, adding about 20 amino acids to a polypeptide every second.
In addition to the most familiar cellular locations of ribosomes,

the organelles can also be found inside mitochondria and the chloroplasts of plants.

These ribosomes notably differ in size and makeup than other ribosomes found in eukaryotic cells, and are more akin to those present in bacteria and blue-green algae cells.

The similarity of mitochondrial and chloroplast ribosomes to prokaryotic ribosomes is generally considered strong supportive evidence that mitochondria and chloroplasts evolved from ancestral prokaryotes.




What cell is ribosomes found in animal or plant?

Ribosomes (80S) are found in both animal cells and plants cells and they are attached on rough endoplasmic reticulum. Ribosomes (70S) are found in bacterial cells too but they are extremely low in number.

Do animals have ribosome?

Animal and plant cells have some of the same cell components in common including a nucleus, Golgi complex, endoplasmic reticulum, ribosomes, mitochondria, peroxisomes, cytoskeleton, and cell (plasma) membrane.

What is the main function of ribosome?

Ribosomes have two main functions — decoding the message and the formation of peptide bonds. These two activities reside in two large ribonucleoprotein particles (RNPs) of unequal size, the ribosomal subunits. Each subunit is made of one or more ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) and many ribosomal proteins (r-proteins).

organelle responsible for protein synthesis
organelle responsible for protein synthesis


Animal cells

Almost all animals and plants are made up of cells.
Animal cells have a basic structure. Below the basic structure is shown in the same animal cell, on the left viewed with the light microscope, and on the right with the transmission electron

Mitochondria are visible with the light microscope but can’t be seen in detail. Ribosomes are only visible with the electron microscope.


What is protein synthesis?

Protein synthesis is the process in which cells make proteins. It occurs in two stages: transcription and translation. Transcription is the transfer of genetic instructions in DNA to mRNA in the nucleus. It includes three steps: initiation, elongation, and termination.

organelle responsible for protein synthesis
organelle responsible for protein synthesis

The Art of Protein Synthesis


This amazing artwork (Figure 5.7.1) shows a process that takes place in the cells of all living things: the production of proteinsno post. This process is called protein synthesis, and it actually consists of two processes — transcription and translation.

In eukaryotic cells, transcription takes place in the nucleus.

During transcription, DNA is used as a template to make a molecule of messenger RNA (mRNA). The molecule of mRNA then leaves the nucleus and goes to a ribosome in the cytoplasm, where translation occurs.

During translation, the genetic code in mRNA is read and used to make a polypeptide. These two processes are summed up by the central dogma of molecular biology: DNA → RNA → Protein.




Transcription is the first part of the central dogma of molecular biology: DNA → RNA. It is the transfer of genetic instructions in DNA to mRNA. During transcription, a strand of mRNA is made to complement a strand of DNA.

Transcription begins when the enzyme RNA polymerase binds to a region of a gene called the rRNA. This signals the DNA to unwind so the enzyme can “read” the bases of DNA.  The two strands of DNA are named based on whether they will be used as a template for RNA or not.

The strand that is used as a template is called the template strand, or can also be called the antisense strand.  The sequence of bases on the opposite strand of DNA is called the non-coding or sense strand.  Once the DNA has opened, and RNA polymerase has attached,

the RNA polymerase moves along the DNA, adding nucleotides to the growing mRNA strand.  The template strand of DNA is used as to create mRNA through complementary base pairing. Once the mRNA strand is complete, and it detaches from DNA. The result is  a strand of mRNA that is nearly identical to the coding strand DNA – the only difference being that DNA uses the base thymine, and the mRNA uses uracil in the place of thymine

organelle responsible for protein synthesis
organelle responsible for protein synthesis

Processing mRNA


In eukaryotes, the new mRNA is not yet ready for translation. At this stage, it is called pre-mRNA, and it must go through more processing before it leaves the nucleus as mature mRNA.

The processing may include splicing, editing, and polyadenylation. These processes modify the mRNA in various ways. Such modifications allow a single gene to be used to make more than one protein.
Splicing removes introns from mRNA, as shown in Figure 5.7.3. Introns are regions that do not code for the protein.

The remaining mRNA consists only of regions called exons that do code for the protein. The ribonucleoproteins in the diagram are small proteins in the nucleus that contain RNA and are needed for the splicing process.
Editing changes some of the nucleotides in mRNA.

For example, a human protein called APOB, which helps transport lipids in the blood, has two different forms because of editing. One form is smaller than the other because editing adds an earlier stop signal in mRNA.
5′ Capping adds a methylated cap to the “head” of the mRNA.

This cap protects the mRNA from breaking down, and helps the ribosomes know where to bind to the mRNA
Polyadenylation adds a “tail” to the mRNA. The tail consists of a string of As (adenine bases).

It signals the end of mRNA. It is also involved in exporting mRNA from the nucleus, and it protects mRNA from enzymes that might break it down.

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