The ribosome is a large assembly of proteins and ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) that functions to translate messenger RNAs (mRNAs) into proteins. The ribosome catalyzes the assembly of amino acids into peptide chains of defined sequence, as dictated by the interaction of amino-acid-carrying transport RNAs (tRNAs) with complementary sequences in the ribosome-bound mRNA.

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News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Bacteria have previously been assumed to cope with environmental stress by tuning their total number of active ribosomes. Instead, a study in this issue of Nature Microbiology shows that from a heterogeneous pool of ribosomes, Vibrio vulnificus uses ribosomes with a particular ribosomal RNA variant to translate upregulated stress response mRNAs.

    • Kathrin Leppek
    •  & Maria Barna
    Nature Microbiology 4, 382-383
  • News and Views |

    Cells rely on the synthesis, translocation, folding and turnover of proteins. Owing to complexity, spatiotemporal regulation and surveillance of these processes are vital. Advances in the field were discussed at the international symposium ‘Proteins: From the Cradle to the Grave’ that took place in the wonderful setting of a Buddhist temple located close to Kyoto, Japan. The emerging theme was the interdependence among cellular processes and organelle compartments.

    • Johannes M. Herrmann
    • , Pedro Carvalho
    • , Manajit Hayer-Hartl
    •  & Tohru Yoshihisa
  • News and Views |

    Chloroplasts contain their own genomes and genetic systems. Their ribosomes synthesize conserved core proteins in photosynthesis. A complete chloroplast ribosome structure now reveals features convergent with those of ribosomes in mitochondria.

    • John F. Allen
    Nature Plants 4, 199-200
  • News and Views |

    Recent developments in transcriptome-wide sequencing technologies have enabled the identification of cellular mRNA decay intermediates. Although canonical mRNA decay has been shown to occur by deadenylation followed by decapping and subsequent exonucleolytic decay from both mRNA ends, a study by Mourelatos and colleagues now defines mRNA fragments that are generated on polysomes by endonucleolytic cleavages phased by the associated ribosome.

    • Tatsuaki Kurosaki
    •  & Lynne E. Maquat