70S Ribosome Mini Model

This 3-D structure shows the 2 subunits of the bacterial ribosome (30S and 50S) in the functional 70S ribosome. In the bound 70S conformation, the 3’-ends of the tRNAs are immediately adjacent to the catalytic adenosine in the large subunit. Different RNA domains are displayed in spacefill format and are colored many different colors (magenta, yellow, light green, cyan, gray, dark blue, and red-orange). Ribosomal proteins are displayed in spacefill format and are colored white. Each of the 3 tRNAs are displayed in spacefill format and are colored different shades of green.

The ribosome is a protein/RNA complex that functions in protein translation. The 70S ribosome is a bacterial ribosome that is composed of 2 subunits: the 50S and 30S. When both of these subunits assemble, the 3’ ends of the tRNAs of the smaller subunit are near a catalytic adenosine located in the larger subunit. Single-stranded mRNA feeds into the ribosome complex, where each 3-nucleotide codon is matched to its tRNA anticodon, and those corresponding amino acids are joined together into a peptide chain. The 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was shared among Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas Steitz, and Ada Yonath. All 3 had a part in determining the structure and function of the ribosome.

Molecule of the Month

The Molecule of the Month by scientist, author and artist Dr. David Goodsell includes an introduction to the structure and function of the chosen molecule and a discussion of its relevance to human health and welfare. Molecule of the Month articles are frequently referred to by teachers, students and researchers. More...