The synthesis of proteins relies on the activity of ribosomes, which are complexes of ribosomal RNA molecules and proteins organized into a large subunit and a small subunit. Together, these subunits form a functional ribosome, which catalyzes the formation of peptide bonds between amino acids to produce a linear polypeptide chain, using the messenger RNA produced through transcription to determine the order of amino acids. With this collection, students can examine the interaction of the protein component and the ribosomal RNA component of the subunits. Students can also explore the differences between the large subunit (50s) and small subunit (30s) of the ribosome. The small ribosome subunit model displays the interaction of the three transfer RNAs (tRNAs) that are essential for the transportation of the amino acids into the ribosome complex in order for the peptide bond to form. Additionally, students can use the individual models of the tRNAs to further investigate the structure of these molecules.
Models in this Collection
- Large (50s) ribosome subunit (PDB: 1ffk)
- Small (30s) ribosome subunit (PDB: 1giy)
- Three tRNAs attached to small ribosomal subunit are colored green
- Three transfer RNA molecules
- tRNA is colored in red and white to visualize the intrastrand base pairing
- 3' CCA which binds to amino acid is colored yellow
- Anticodon is colored blue
Model Documentation and Instructions
General Model Information
- The models are made of plaster with the ZCorp 3D printer.
- The models are shown in spacefill.
- The colors on the ribosome subunits represent recognized RNA domains, based on standard coloring schemes.
- The white portions of the ribosome subunits represent ribosomal proteins.
- Pipe cleaners approximate the path of mRNA and the newly synthesized protein.