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10.1: Introduction to Ribosomes

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    Ribosomes are a complex of RNA and protein that bind to and processively move down (from 5’ to 3’ end) a strand of mRNA, picking up aminoacyl-tRNAs, checking to see if they are complementary to the RNA tri-nucleotide being “read” at the moment, and adding them to the new polypeptide chain if they are. The RNA part of the ribosomes are generated by the organism’s general purpose RNA polymerase in prokaryotes, and generated by the RNA polymerases I and III in eukaryotes. Recall that RNA Pol II is used by eukaryotes to generate protein-coding mRNA’s. Although the numbers of RNA strands and protein subunits differ between the prokaryote and eukaryote, the mechanism for translation is remarkably well conserved.

    Screen Shot 2018-12-29 at 9.37.09 PM.png
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\). Two views of a prokaryotic ribosome. The large ribosomal subunit (50S) is shown in red, while the small ribosomal subunit (30S) is shown in blue. 3D images generated from data in the RCSB Protein Data Bank.

    This page titled 10.1: Introduction to Ribosomes is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by E. V. Wong via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.