Function of Ribosomes. Ribosomes are a cell structure that makes protein. Protein is needed for many cell functions such as repairing damage or directing chemical processes. Ribosomes can be found floating within the cytoplasm or attached to the endoplasmic reticulum.
In bacterial cells, ribosomes are synthesized in the cytoplasm through the transcription of multiple ribosome gene operons. In eukaryotes, the process takes place both in the cell cytoplasm and in the nucleolus, which is a region within the cell nucleus.
In eukaryotic cells ribosomes are synthesized in the nucleolus but are found predominantly in the cytoplasm, singly or in chains (polysomes or polyribosomes, probably linked by the m-RNA), or attached to the endoplasmic reticulum, which is then termed 'rough ER'.
Ribosomes are found 'free' in the cytoplasm or bound to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to form rough ER. In a mammalian cell there can be as many as 10 million ribosomes. Several ribosomes can be attached to the same mRNA strand, this structure is called a polysome.