Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
RNA. 2003 Oct;9(10):1174-9.

Protein synthesis by single ribosomes.

Author information

Pennsylvania Muscle Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6083, USA.


The ribosome is universally responsible for synthesizing proteins by translating the genetic code transcribed in mRNA into an amino acid sequence. Ribosomes use cellular accessory proteins, soluble transfer RNAs, and metabolic energy to accomplish the initiation, elongation, and termination of peptide synthesis. In translocating processively along the mRNA template during the elongation cycle, ribosomes act as supramolecular motors. Here we demonstrate that ribosomes adsorbed on a surface, as for mechanical or spectroscopic studies, are capable of polypeptide synthesis and that tethered particle analysis of fluorescent beads connected to ribosomes via polyuridylic acid can be used to estimate the rate of polyphenylalanine synthesis by individual ribosomes. This work opens the way for application of biophysical techniques, originally developed for the classical motor proteins, to the understanding of protein biosynthesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center