In DepthMolecular Biology

A division of labor in cells' protein factories

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Science  23 Jun 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6344, pp. 1218-1219
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6344.1218

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The plant that built your computer isn't churning out cars and toys as well. But many researchers think cells' crucial protein factories, organelles known as ribosomes, are interchangeable, each one able to make any of the body's proteins. Now, a provocative study suggests that some ribosomes, like modern factories, specialize to manufacture only certain products. Such tailored ribosomes could provide a cell with another way to control which proteins it generates. They could also help explain the puzzling symptoms of certain diseases, which might arise when particular ribosomes are defective.