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ribosomal RNA (rRNA)

The RNA molecules which are essential structural and functional components of ribosomes, the organelles responsible for protein synthesis. The different rRNA molecules are known by their sedimentation (Svedberg; symbol S) values. E. coli ribosomes contain one 16S rRNA molecule (1541 nucleotides long) in the same (small) sub-unit and a 23S rRNA (2904 nucleotides) and a 5S rRNA (120 nucleotides) in the large sub-unit. These three rRNA molecules are synthesized as part of a large precursor molecule which also contains the sequences of a number of tRNAs. Special processing enzymes cleave this large precursor to generate the functional moieties.

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