What Are the Roles of Ribosomes?

Ribosomes play an important biological role in the task of protein synthesis. Ribosomes essentially act as messengers to receive and transmit critical information. Without them, cell messages would not be read and reproduction of proteins would not take place.

The act of protein synthesis, initiated and completed by ribosomes, requires several key catalysts and actors, including the fundamental agent called mRNA. Ribosomes launch the protein synthesis process by translating mRNA into specific amino acid chains. These chains consist of two subunits, which are comprised of a third and abundant variety of RNA called ribosomal RNA. The two subunits contain over 80 kinds of specific proteins, which are lined up and assembled into sequence labels. The labels qualify as active sites, which means that they are hotspots for protein translation; each site helps to translate mRNA into protein. Once proteins are created, they are synthesized and prepared for export out of cell walls. When proteins are ready for release, Ribosomes send signals to receptive cells, which open their cell doors to accept incoming proteins. Ribosomes direct the proteins to their new cell locations and encode them to perform specific functions. In addition to sending out proteins, ribosomes dictate cell size and shape.