Intro | Cytoplasm | Endoplasmic Reticulum | Golgi Complex | Microtubules | Mitochondria | Nucleus | Plasma Membrane | Ribosomes
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Ribosomes are involved in the production of proteins. Specifically, ribosomes are the site of protein production, whereby messenger RNA (mRNA) is used to code the sequence of sub-units that make up the protein. The specialized proteins typically produced by neurons include enzymes that catalyze (speed-up) reactions leading to the metabolism of molecules essential to neuronal function, such as neurotransmitters and carrier or signal proteins of the plasma membrane.
Ribosomes attached to endoplasmic reticulum are responsible for producing proteins that will be delivered to sites outside the cell, whereas ribosomes that float freely in the cytoplasm are responsible for producing proteins that will stay within the cell (Arms & Camp).
Arms, K. & Camp, P. (1995), Biology (4th ed.). New York: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.