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Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2008;268:1-37. doi: 10.1016/S1937-6448(08)00801-0.

Physiological roles of ribosomal protein S6: one of its kind.

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Department of Biochemistry, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.


The phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6), which occurs in response to a wide variety of stimuli on five evolutionarily conserved serine residues, has attracted much attention since its discovery more than three decades ago. However, despite a large body of information on the respective kinases and the signal transduction pathways, the role of this phosphorylation remained obscure. It is only recent that targeting the genes encoding rpS6, the phosphorylatable serine residues or the respective kinases that the unique role of rpS6 and its posttranslational modification have started to be elucidated. This review focuses primarily on the critical role of rpS6 for mouse development, the pathways that transduce various signals into rpS6 phosphorylation, and the physiological functions of this modification. The mechanism(s) underlying the diverse effects of rpS6 phosphorylation on cellular and organismal physiology has yet to be determined. However, a model emerging from the currently available data suggests that rpS6 phosphorylation operates, at least partly, by counteracting positive signals simultaneously induced by rpS6 kinase, and thus might be involved in fine-tuning of the cellular response to these signals.

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