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Ribosomal RNA (rRNA), a type of RNA synthesized in the nucleolus by RNA polymerase I, is the central component of the ribosome, the protein manufacturing machinery of all living cells. The function of the rRNA is to provide a mechanism for decoding mRNA into amino acids and to interact with the tRNAs during translation by providing peptidyl transferase activity.
Inside the ribosome
The ribosome is composed of two subunits, named for how rapidly they sediment when subject to centrifugation. tRNA is sandwiched between the small and large subunits and the ribosome catalyzes the formation of a peptide bond between the 2 amino acids that are contained in the tRNA.
The ribosome also has 3 binding sites called A, P, and E.
A single mRNA can be translated simultaneously by multiple ribosomes.
Prokaryotes vs. Eukaryotes
Both prokaryotic and eukaryotic can be broken down into two subunits (the S in 16S represents Svedberg units):
Note that the S units of the subunits cannot simply be added because they represent measures of sedimentation rate rather than of mass. The sedimentation rate of each subunit is affected by its shape, as well as by its mass.
In prokaryotes a small 30S ribosomal subunit contains the 16S rRNA.
The large 50S ribosomal subunit contains two rRNA species (the 5S and 23S rRNAs).
Bacterial 16S, 23S, and 5S rRNA genes are typically organized as a co-transcribed operon.
The 3' end of the 16S rRNA (in a ribosome) binds to a sequence on the 5' end of mRNA called the Shine-Dalgarno sequence.
In contrast, eukaryotes generally have many copies of the rRNA genes organized in tandem repeats; in humans approximately 300–400 rDNA repeats are present in five clusters (on chromosomes 13, 14, 15, 21 and 22).
The 18S rRNA in most eukaryotes is in the small ribosomal subunit, and the large subunit contains three rRNA species (the 5S, 5.8S and 28S rRNAs).
Mammalian cells have 2 mitochondrial (12S and 16S) rRNA molecules and 4 types of cytoplasmic rRNA (28S, 5.8S, 5S (large ribosome subunit) and 18S (small subunit)). 28S, 5.8S, and 18S rRNAs are encoded by a single transcription unit (45S) separated by 2 Internally transcribed spacer (ITS). The 45S rDNA organized into 5 clusters (each has 30-40 repeats) on chromosomes 13, 14, 15, 21, and 22. These are transcribed by RNA polymerase I. 5S occurs in tandem arrays (~200-300 true 5S genes and many dispersed pseudogenes), the largest one on the chromosome 1q41-42. 5S rRNA is transcribed by RNA polymerase III.
Translation is the net effect of proteins being synthesized by ribosomes, from a copy (mRNA) of the DNA template in the nucleus. One of the components of the ribosome (16s rRNA) base pairs complementary to a sequence upstream of the start codon in mRNA.
Importance of rRNA
Nucleolar dominance has also been shown for rRNA genes. In some organisms, particularly plants, when two nuclei are combined into a single cell during hybridization the developing organism can 'choose' one set of rRNA genes for transcription. The rRNA genes of the other parent are suppressed and not generally transcribed, though reactivation of the suppressed or 'inferior' rRNA genes may occasionally occur. This selective preference of transcription of rRNA genes is termed nucleolar dominance.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ribosomal_RNA". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|