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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2003 Jun;15(3):318-25.

The nucleolus: a site of ribonucleoprotein maturation.

Author information

  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University, Division of Biology and Medicine, JW Wilson Laboratory, 69 Brown Street, Providence, RI 02912, USA. susan_gerbi@brown.edu


The nucleolus is the site of ribosomal RNA synthesis, processing and ribosome maturation. Various small ribonucleoproteins also undergo maturation in the nucleolus, involving RNA modification and RNA-protein assembly. Such steps and other activities of small ribonucleoproteins also take place in Cajal (coiled) bodies. Events of ribosome biogenesis are found solely in the nucleolus, which is the final destination of small nucleolar RNAs after their traffic through Cajal bodies. However, nucleoli are just a stopping point in the intricate cellular traffic for small nuclear RNAs and other ribonucleoproteins.

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