Q:

What is the job of the ribosomes?

A:

Quick Answer

Ribosomes join amino acids to synthesize proteins for the cell. Free ribosomes exist in the cell's cytoplasm, and bound ribosomes are part of the rough endoplasmic reticulum.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Ribosomes create proteins through the translation of messenger RNA, or mRNA. Like DNA, mRNA contains special molecules, nucleotides, that code amino acids; three nucleotides translate into one amino acid. Ribosomes move along a strand of mRNA, reading and translating these nucleotides into the appropriate amino acids and linking the amino acids to form proteins.

The ribosome itself is made of two parts, small and large subunits; ribosomal subunits do not come together until it is time to translate mRNA. The small subunit recognizes the nucleotides adenine, uracil and guanine, in that order. It attaches to this section of the mRNA and signals the large subunit to join it and begin translation.

Free ribosomes within the cell's cytoplasm create proteins for use within the same cell. Some ribosomes bind to the membrane of the rough endoplasmic reticulum, a cellular organelle that specializes in protein synthesis. Bound ribosomes create secretory proteins; these proteins travel to other parts of the cell or other cells entirely. Antibodies and insulin are two important secretory proteins that originate from bound ribosomes.

Learn more about Cells

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Which features are common to prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells?

    A:

    Prokaryotic cells and eukaryotic cells have multiple features in common, including the use of DNA to code for proteins, RNA for translation into proteins and ribosomes to read the RNA. Both types also share such basic cell features as cell membranes and molecules, such as proteins, lipids and carbohydrates. Many prokaryotes and eukaryotes also have cell walls, but the constituents of the walls differ between them.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the purpose of the nucleolus?

    A:

    The nucleolus works to transcribe ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and it forms incomplete ribosomes by combining proteins and rRNA. Other functions of this structure include transporting molecules, vital substances and ions to ensure efficient cell metabolism.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What molecule carries amino acids to the ribosomes?

    A:

    The molecule that carries amino acids to the ribosomes is transfer ribonucleic acid, commonly referred to as tRNA. This type of RNA is an essential component in protein synthesis.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    In what structure of the mammalian cell are proteins synthesized?

    A:

    Proteins of the mammalian cell are synthesized on ribosomes that are either free in the cytosol or attached to the endoplasmic reticulum. Ribosomes suspended in the cytosol make proteins that function in the cytosol. Bound ribosomes make proteins that are included in the cell's membrane or exported from the cell.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore