Structure of a Ribosome




The structure and function of the mammalian ribosome. The mammalian ribosome consists of two subunits, one small and one large. Each subunit is assembled in the nucleus from rRNA and structural proteins. Once assembled, the ribosomal subunits are shipped separately to the cytoplasm. In the cytoplasm, the two ribosomal subunits come together to form a functional ribosome—but only when there is mRNA to transcribe. A polypeptide chain is assembled as mRNA passes between the two subunits. Part of the large subunit acts as an enzyme that catalyzes the joining of amino acids to form a polypeptide chain.



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