The formation of eukaryotic ribosomes is a sequential process of ribosomal precursors maturation in the nucleolus, nucleoplasm, and cytoplasm. Hundreds of ribosomal biogenesis factors ensure the accurate processing and formation of the ribosomal RNAs’ tertiary structure, and they interact with ribosomal proteins. Most of what we know about the ribosome assembly has been derived from yeast cell studies, and the mechanisms of ribosome biogenesis in eukaryotes are considered quite conservative. Although the main stages of ribosome biogenesis are similar across different groups of eukaryotes, this process in humans is much more complicated owing to the larger size of the ribosomes and pre-ribosomes and the emergence of regulatory pathways that affect their assembly and function. Many of the factors involved in the biogenesis of human ribosomes have been identified using genome-wide screening based on RNA interference. This review addresses the key aspects of yeast and human ribosome biogenesis, using the 40S subunit as an example. The mechanisms underlying these differences are still not well understood, because, unlike yeast, there are no effective methods for characterizing pre-ribosomal complexes in humans. Understanding the mechanisms of human ribosome assembly would have an incidence on a growing number of genetic diseases (ribosomopathies) caused by mutations in the genes encoding ribosomal proteins and ribosome biogenesis factors. In addition, there is evidence that ribosome assembly is regulated by oncogenic signaling pathways, and that defects in the ribosome biogenesis are linked to the activation of tumor suppressors.
- Ribosome biogenesis