It is suggested that the location of each of the diverse ribosomal proteins in the ribosome, or in the ribosomal subparticles in their native or derived forms, is determined by the nucleotide sequence of the 16s and 23–30s RNA moieties, i.e. that the 16s and 23–30s RNA species provide a unique binding site for each species of ribosomal protein. The ways of assembling such a thread into a ribosome-like structure appear limited if the ribosome is largely stabilized by protein–protein interactions. The nucleoprotein thread was built into a structure, having the general features of a hollow cylinder, that is consistent with the known dimensions and properties of the rabbit reticulocyte ribosome. It appears possible to test the model by experiment.
- © 1969 The Biochemical Society