What Do Ribosomes Do

Discover the fascinating role of ribosomes in protein synthesis and their importance in living organisms. Learn about different types of ribosomes and their impact on diseases.


Ribosomes are among the most important components of a cell, responsible for protein synthesis. They are tiny but powerful organelles that play a crucial role in the functioning of living organisms.

Structure of Ribosomes

Ribosomes are composed of two subunits, a small subunit, and a large subunit. These subunits come together during protein synthesis to form a functional ribosome.

Protein Synthesis

Ribosomes are the site of protein synthesis in a cell. They receive instructions from the cell’s DNA in the form of messenger RNA (mRNA) and, with the help of transfer RNA (tRNA), they link amino acids together to form a protein chain.

Types of Ribosomes

  • Free Ribosomes: Found in the cytoplasm, these ribosomes synthesize proteins that remain within the cell.
  • Bound Ribosomes: Attached to the endoplasmic reticulum, these ribosomes synthesize proteins destined for secretion or insertion into the cell membrane.

Role of Ribosomes in Diseases

Defects in ribosomes can lead to various diseases, including Diamond-Blackfan anemia and Shwachman-Diamond syndrome. Understanding ribosomes and their functions is crucial for finding treatments for these disorders.


Ribosomes are indispensable for life, playing a vital role in protein synthesis. Their structure and function are fascinating areas of study that continue to intrigue scientists around the world.

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