What Are the Two Types of Ribosomes?

The two types of ribosomes are free ribosomes and bound ribosomes. The classification of the ribosome depends on where it is located within a cell. Both types serve different functions.

Ribosomes are small particulates that consist of protein and ribonucleic acid. These particulates play a role in the translation process; the ribosomes translate messenger RNA.

If the ribosome is suspended in the cytosol, it is considered a free ribosome. If the ribosome is connected to the endoplasmic reticulum, it is a bound ribosome. They can also be referred to as detached and attached ribosomes, respectively. Both types of ribosomes have similar functions, and it is acceptable to use both terms interchangeably.

Free ribosomes create proteins within the cytosol, while bound ribosomes create proteins for use outside of the cell or in the membrane of the cell.