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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2011 Aug;43(8):1218-27. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2011.04.015. Epub 2011 Apr 28.

Knockdown of ribosomal protein S7 causes developmental abnormalities via p53 dependent and independent pathways in zebrafish.

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Key Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolism, Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.


Ribosomal proteins (RPs), structural components of the ribosome involved in protein synthesis, are of significant importance in all organisms. Previous studies have suggested that some RPs may have other functions in addition to assembly of the ribosome. The small ribosomal subunits RPS7, has been reported to modulate the mdm2-p53 interaction. To further investigate the biological functions of RPS7, we used morpholino antisense oligonucleotides (MO) to specifically knockdown RPS7 in zebrafish. In RPS7-deficient embryos, p53 was activated, and its downstream target genes and biological events were induced, including apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. Hematopoiesis was also impaired seriously in RPS7-deficient embryos, which was confirmed by the hemoglobin O-dianisidine staining of blood cells, and the expression of scl, gata1 and α-E1 globin were abnormal. The matrix metalloproteinase (mmp) family genes were also activated in RPS7 morphants, indicating that improper cell migration might also cause development defects. Furthermore, simultaneously knockdown of the p53 protein by co-injecting a p53 MO could partially reverse the abnormal phenotype in the morphants. These results strengthen the hypothesis that specific ribosomal proteins regulate p53 and that their deficiency affects hematopoiesis. Moreover, our data implicate that RPS7 is a regulator of matrix metalloproteinase (mmp) family in zebrafish system. These specific functions of RPS7 may provide helpful clues to study the roles of RPs in human disease.

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