Function Is Structure

Science  24 Sep 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5436, pp. 2077-2078
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5436.2077

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Understanding the workings of the ribosome, the rotund organelle in the cell cytoplasm that translates mRNA into a chain of amino acids, has been one of the great challenges of cell biology. Now, this challenge has been largely met with the solving of the structure of the ribosome and its subunits by X-ray crystallography ( Cate et al., Culver et al.). Anders Liljas discusses what new details these structures reveal about the interactions of the ribosomal subunits with mRNA and tRNA during protein synthesis.