Ribosomes play a vital role in the continuation of life on this planet. Proteins consisting of amino acids are an essential component of life. Ribosomes are responsible for assembling these very important structures. Translation is the process by which ribosomes are able to combine the elements necessary for this to occur.
Ribosomes are forged in the nucleolus of a cell which is located inside the nucleus. Two different types of ribosomes exist and are distinguished based upon their location in a cell. Free ribosomes reside in the cytosol which is the semi-fluid within a cell. Bound ribosomes are found embedded in the endoplasmic reticulum.
The endoplasmic reticulum is a structure that is composed of various membranes. There are two parts to this structure: the rough ER and the smooth ER. The rough ER contains the embedded ribosomes that serve as assembling plants. Products made in rough ER are then transferred to the smooth ER to be distributed where needed.
Ribosomes consist of two subunits known as large subunits and small subunits. Both of these structures are required in the process of translation in order for the ribosome to properly attach to messenger RNA (mRNA) and begin the formation of proteins. Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a molecule of RNA (ribonucleic acid) that contains the coded information copied from a DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) template which includes a type of blueprint for protein construction. mRNA is responsible for carrying those blueprints around until ribosomes attach and initiate the process.
Proteins created by free ribosomes in the cystol are usually made to function in that particular environment. Bound ribosomes create proteins that are either exported out of the cell or attached to serve a specific purpose in the cell membrane.
In the process of translation, mRNA consists of a series of codons that are instructions directing the ribosomes in the production of a specific sequence of amino acids that will end up creating a specific type of protein. Codons consist of a sequence of 3 nucleic acids and amino acids are molecules that serve as the basic building blocks of proteins. Transfer RNA (tRNA) plays an important role in providing the corresponding amino acid that complements a specific codon sequence. So, in short, tRNA binds itself to a complementary amino acid while floating within the cytoplasm. tRNA then takes that amino acid back to a ribosome structure that is attached to an mRNA strand. The ribosome then attaches the amino acid to the corresponding codon sequence on the mRNA strand that it has deciphered. The trail of amino acid sequences that result and are linked together form a protein.
Ribosomes are made up of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and proteins. They are essentially considered a factory’ where the proteins necessary for life are assembled. Ribosomes, therefore, play a vital role in the continuation of life due to their pivotal role in protein synthesis. All I can say is Hooray for Ribosomes!