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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1995 Jun;7(3):319-24.

The nucleolus: an organelle formed by the act of building a ribosome.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.


Recent evidence corroborates the idea that the structure of the nucleolus need not be strictly maintained for proper function, suggesting that the organelle is composed of supramolecular assemblies formed during rRNA synthesis. More controversial is whether the nucleolus exists in the absence of rRNA synthesis and whether it interacts with the nuclear scaffold. The simultaneous and highly integrative nature of building a ribosome is reflected in the numerous observations showing that proteins involved in all aspects of ribosomal biogenesis affect pre-rRNA processing. The identification of several new nucleolar proteins without an obvious role in pre-rRNA metabolism may provide the field with long sought after assembly factors that might be key players in eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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