AAT Bioquest

What is the significance of free ribosomes?

Posted January 10, 2023


Free ribosomes are unattached to any cellular structure and float freely around in the cytosol. They are also able to move throughout the cell. Free ribosomes play a significant role in synthesizing proteins that are released into the cytosol to be used within the cell. These proteins are essential for crucial internal cellular activity and are only synthesized by free ribosomes. 

Proteins synthesized by free ribosomes include hemoglobin in red blood cells, contractile proteins in muscle cells, and enzymes involved in the metabolism in macromolecules. Many of the proteins synthesized by the free ribosomes are used by the mitochondria, which is responsible for producing the cell’s energy. In plant cells, these proteins are used in chloroplasts. Without free ribosomes and the proteins they synthesize, the various cellular components would not be able to function. 

Additional resources

The importance of ribosome production, and the 5S RNP-MDM2 pathway, in health and disease

Cell Structures and Organelles

ReadiUse™ TCA Deproteinization Sample Preparation Kit