DNA, RNA, Chromosomes, and Genes


How does a ribosome participate in protein synthesis?

Ribosomes are different than the ribozymes mentioned in the question above—they actually serve as the site of translation (see above). This combination of RNA and protein is a meeting place for mRNA and tRNA. Structurally, a ribosome is composed of two parts known as the large and small subunits. Each of these is a combination of protein and a type of RNA: rRNA. At the beginning of translation, the two subunits form a structure around the mRNA molecule as the first tRNA (the one matching the first methionine—also called fMet) arrives. The completed ribosome has niches that hold up to three tRNAs at a time. Because a cell has so many ribosomes at any one time, rRNA is the most common type of RNA found in cells.


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