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The Making of a Functional Ribosome

The Making of a Functional Ribosome


The Taylor and Johnson laboratories in the Department of Molecular Biosciences have revealed how the final puzzle piece is inserted to make a functional ribosome, the incredible cellular machine that creates all proteins in cells. Using cryo-electron microscopy at the recently opened Sauer Structural Biology Laboratory in the College of Natural Sciences, their study, published in Nature Communications, presents six snapshots of the ribosome during its assembly. 

Postdoctoral fellow Yi Zhou, the first author of the paper, showed how the final piece, called Rpl10, is inserted to create the catalytic center where all cellular proteins are stitched together. Genetics performed by Sharmishtha Musalgaonkar, also a postdoc and the second author of the study, confirmed that this concert of events leading to Rpl10 insertion is required in living cells. 

Research in the Johnson laboratory is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Research in the Taylor laboratory is funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, the Welch Foundation, and the Army Research Office. 

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