PERSPECTIVES AND SUMMARY Research on the structure and function of ribosomes is being undertaken because: (a) Ribosomes play an essential role in the biosynthesis of proteins, and an understanding of this complicated process at the molecular level is not possible without a detailed knowledge of the ribosomal structure; (b) Ribosomes are the only cell organelles that are present in all organisms, therefore their protein and RNA components are excellent subjects for evolutionary studies; (c) The hundreds of mutants with altered or even 'I thank Drs. R. Brimacombe, J. Dijk, V. A. Erdmann, J. Littlechild, K. H. Nierhaus, P. Wills, B. Wittmann-Liebo1d, and A. Yonath for reading the manuscript and helpful comments. 0066-4154/82/0701-0155$02.00 WITTMANN missing ribosomal proteins that have been isolated and characterized are of great help in genetic, structural, and functional studies, (d) The size and complexity of the ribosomes (50-60 components in prokaryotes and 70-80 components in eukaryotes) constitute a challenge, not only to isolate and study the chemical and physical properties of the individual proteins and RNA components, but also to understand at the molecular level the compliÂ cated processes that take place on the ribosome. These processes include specific RNA-protein recognition, assembly, conformational changes, and
Annual Review of Biochemistry – Annual Reviews
Published: Jul 1, 1982
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