Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ribosome = Ribozyme


So for those of you who are now looking at your screens with a puzzled look and trying to figure out exactly why you made the effort to check out my second blog... allow me to illuminate that statement.

You see, the ribosome is a macromolecular machine, meaning that it is larger than an individual molecule (e.g. water or ethanol) but is smaller than, say, a living cell. There are hundreds and sometimes thousands of ribosomes active in any one of your living cells, and it is their job to read strands of messenger RNA (which is transcribed in the nucleus of the cell and is a literal carbon copy of a portion of your DNA) and turn that mRNA (as messenger RNA is called) into a chain of amino-acids (the building blocks of proteins).

So without the ribosome you would be unable to produce proteins that are necessary for everything from structural roles such as cellular skeletons and collagen, to signaling roles in the brain played out by neurotransmitters, to hormonal changes throughout the body, to the numerous catalytic activities that proteins undergo every moment of every day.

Now, until fairly recently the ribosome (which is made up of protein subunits bound to a special type of RNA called, you guessed it, ribosomal RNA or rRNA) was thought to gain its catalytic powers from the proteins and that the rRNA was there simply to provide a binding site for the mRNA that was to serve as the template.

Well, apparently that is not the case.

The current theory that is being bandied around in the scientific community is that the ribosomes actually take their catalytic properties from this rRNA and that the proteins provide significant structural and binding support to the macromolecule during protein synthesis.

Basically what this is saying is that RNA is not only capable of catalysis, but that it is most likely the first form of catalytic biological molecule to have EVER existed!

And when you are trying to convince people of an RNAworld, you need every bit of help you can get.


Diane said... RNAWorld something inside the body...or is it a Facility of some kind trying to create...change...?


Herryponting said...

here is good now:
Cher-Amino Predigested Liquid Protein