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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2016 Dec 1;6(12). pii: a026138. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a026138.

The Evolution of the Ribosomal Protein-MDM2-p53 Pathway.

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The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences, Institute for Chemical Safety Sciences, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709.
Department of Radiation Oncology and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599.
Department of Pharmacology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599.


The progression of our understanding of ribosomal proteins as static building blocks of the ribosome to highly integrated sensors of p53 surveillance and function has achieved a tremendous rate of growth over the past several decades. As the workhorse of the cell, ribosomes are responsible for translating the genetic code into the functional units that drive cell growth and proliferation. The seminal identification of ribosomal protein binding to MDM2, the negative regulator of p53, has evolved into a paradigm for ribosomal protein-MDM2-p53 signaling that extends into processes as diverse as energy metabolism to proliferation. The central core of signaling occurs when perturbations to rRNA synthesis, processing, and assembly modulate the rate of ribosome biogenesis, signaling a nucleolar stress response to p53. This has led to identification of a number of disease pathologies related to ribosomal protein dysfunction that are manifested as developmental disorders or cancer. Advancing research into the basic mechanics of ribosomal protein-MDM2-p53 signaling is paving the way for novel translational research into biomarker identification and therapeutic strategies for ribosome-related diseases.

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