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What is the main function of ribosomes?

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Quick Answer

Ribosomes are a type of organelle found in every cell, and their main function is to synthesize proteins for use throughout the cell. In the ribosomes, individual amino acids are arranged into long protein chains according to the sequence of mRNA, or messenger RNA. It is the ribosome's job to read the sequence of mRNA and translate it into the correct sequence of amino acids for each protein that must be made.

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What is the main function of ribosomes?
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Full Answer

The process by which ribosomes make protein calls for several steps. First, the mRNA is made in the nucleus of the cell and sent to the ribosome. The mRNA then combines with the ribosome's subunits, which themselves are made of protein, and is interpreted into a new sequence known as tRNA, or transfer RNA. Each nucleic acid of the tRNA chain is bound to an amino acid. Once the tRNA chain is complete, the ribosome pulls the amino acids off of the tRNA and connects them into a long protein chain.

All prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells contain ribosomes, though those found in eukaryotic cells are larger. Some ribosomes, known as free ribosomes, are found directly in the cytosol. Others are bound to the cell's endoplasmic reticulum, which makes it easier to transport their finished products throughout the cell. Ribosomes are also found in mitochondria and chloroplasts, and they serve the same function -- to make proteins for these organelles to use.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What part of the cell makes proteins?

    A:

    The ribosomes make proteins in the cell. Cytoplasmic granules that are rich in ribonucleic acid, or RNA, compose ribosomes. Proteins are made continuously and are responsible for the function, structure and regulation of the tissues and organs in the body.

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  • 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.

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    What is a cell organelle?

    A:

    An organelle is a unique part of a cell that has a specific function. The term is a combination of the word "organum," which means instrument or engine, and the suffix "-elle," which means small.

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  • Q:

    How are enzymes made?

    A:

    Enzymes are a type of protein, and like other proteins, they are made by the translation of the genetic code into a particular sequence of amino acids by ribosomes. After the enzyme is created as a chain of amino acids, it folds into a particular shape and often binds to other compounds, known as cofactors, before it becomes fully functional. Enzymes are crucial to the operation of cellular mechanisms.

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