Indexed on: 26 Aug '14Published on: 26 Aug '14Published in: Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
Ribosome biogenesis is critical for cells to generate the ribosomes they need for protein synthesis in order to survive, grow and proliferate. It is a complex process, involving the coordinated production of four different RNA species and about 80 proteins, as well as their assembly into functional ribosomal subunits. Given its high demand for amino acids and nucleotides, it is also a metabolically expensive process for the cell. The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is a protein kinases which is activated by nutrients, anabolic hormones and oncogenic signaling pathways. mTORC1 positively regulates several steps in ribosome biogenesis, including ribosomal RNA transcription, the synthesis of ribosomal proteins and other components required for ribosome assembly. mTORC1 can thus coordinate stimuli which promote ribosome production with the various steps involved in this process. Although important advances have been made in our understanding of mTORC1 signaling, major questions remain about the molecular mechanisms by which it regulates ribosome biogenesis.