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FEMS Yeast Res. 2014 May;14(3):495-507. doi: 10.1111/1567-1364.12121. Epub 2013 Dec 4.

Human ribosomal protein L9 is a Bax suppressor that promotes cell survival in yeast.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Royal Military College, Kingston, ON, Canada.


The identification of a human ribosomal protein L9 (hRPL9) cDNA as a sequence capable of suppressing the lethal effects of heterologously expressed murine Bax in yeast led us to investigate its antiapoptotic potential. Using growth and viability assays, we show that yeast cells heterologously expressing hRPL9 are resistant to the growth inhibitory and lethal effects of exogenously supplied copper, indicating that it has pro-survival properties. To explore potential mechanisms, we used yeast mutants defective in all three types of programmed cell death (apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagy). The ability to retain pro-survival function in all the mutants suggests that hRPL9 may regulate a common pro-death process. In contrast, the yeast RPL9 orthologues, RPL9A and RPL9B, have opposite effects when overexpressed in yeast. In effect, instead of showing resistance to stress, RPL9A and RPL9B overexpressing cells show reduced cell growth. Further analysis indicates that the effects of overexpressed RPL9A and RPL9B are not in themselves lethal, instead, they serve to increase cell doubling time. Thus, yeast RPL9s are more representative of RPs whose extra-ribosomal function is similar to that of tumor suppressors. Taken together, our results demonstrate that RPL9 represents a species- and sequence-specific regulator of cell growth and survival.

© 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.


antiapoptosis; antiapoptotic; apoptosis; apoptosis mutant; autophagy mutant; necrosis mutant; programmed cell death

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