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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2012 May 23;13(6):355-69. doi: 10.1038/nrm3359.

Specialized ribosomes: a new frontier in gene regulation and organismal biology.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.

Abstract

Historically, the ribosome has been viewed as a complex ribozyme with constitutive rather than intrinsic regulatory capacity in mRNA translation. However, emerging studies reveal that ribosome activity may be highly regulated. Heterogeneity in ribosome composition resulting from differential expression and post-translational modifications of ribosomal proteins, ribosomal RNA (rRNA) diversity and the activity of ribosome-associated factors may generate 'specialized ribosomes' that have a substantial impact on how the genomic template is translated into functional proteins. Moreover, constitutive components of the ribosome may also exert more specialized activities by virtue of their interactions with specific mRNA regulatory elements such as internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) or upstream open reading frames (uORFs). Here we discuss the hypothesis that intrinsic regulation by the ribosome acts to selectively translate subsets of mRNAs harbouring unique cis-regulatory elements, thereby introducing an additional level of regulation in gene expression and the life of an organism.

PMID:
22617470
PMCID:
PMC4039366
DOI:
10.1038/nrm3359
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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