What does a ribosome do?

Ribosomes are the molecular machines responsible for protein synthesis (called Translation)

At the molecular level, ribosome functions like a decrypting machine. DNA transcribes to messenger RNA (mRNA), which is exported from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. The mRNA molecule is like genetic codes written on a long thread of paper. The ribosome finds the right end of the mRNA thread and starts to read the codes. The ribosome uses the code sequence for determining the correct order of amino acids to generate the corresponding protein. During the process, the large subunit sits on top of the small subunit, with an RNA template sandwiched between the two. (A ribosome looks like a hamburger with a puffy bun on top, an RNA “patty” threading through it.)


[In this figure] An analogy for ribosomes in a factory.
Ribosomes work like machines to translate the code sequence of mRNA into a protein. Scientists like to call ribosomes, the molecular micro-machines, to admire how exquisite the ribosomes’ design is!

Extended read:

Ribosome function and their structure a

Ribosome – protein factory – definition, function, structure, and biology

  • What is a ribosome? A quick definition
  • Ribosomes structure
  • Ribosome function – protein translation
  • Do prokarytes have ribosomes?
  • The discovery of ribosomes
  • Where are ribosomes located inside a cell?
  • How many ribosomes in a cell?
  • Where are ribosomes made?
  • What is a Polysome?
  • What does co-translational translocation mean?
  • What is the ribosome binding site?
  • What is the ribosome profiling?
  • Ribosomes under a microscope