Noncoding RNAs in eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis and function

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The ribosome, central to protein synthesis in all cells, is a complex multicomponent assembly with rRNA at its functional core. During the process of ribosome biogenesis, diverse noncoding RNAs participate in controlling the quantity and quality of this rRNA. In this Review, I discuss the multiple roles assumed by noncoding RNAs during the different steps of ribosome biogenesis and how they contribute to the generation of ribosome heterogeneity, which affects normal and pathophysiological processes.

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Figure 1: Eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis at a glance.
Figure 2: Pre-rRNA processing pathways in human cells.
Figure 3: 'Placeholders' and molecular mimicry in biogenesis of ribosomes and snoRNPs.
Figure 4: Regulatory cryptic ncRNAs are produced from intergenic rDNA sequences.

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S.-T. Mullineux (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Centre) is acknowledged for critical reading of the manuscript. N. Leulliot (Laboratoire de Cristallographie et RMN Biologiques, UMR CNRS 8015, Université Paris Descartes, Faculté de Pharmacie, Sorbonne Paris Cité) and K. Karbstein and H. Ghalei (Department of Cancer Biology, Scripps Research Institute) are acknowledged for assistance in figure production. The laboratory of D.L.J.L. is supported by Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Center for Microscopy and Molecular Imaging (Cmmi), the European Regional Development Fund and Région Wallonne (DGO6).

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Correspondence to Denis L J Lafontaine.

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Lafontaine, D. Noncoding RNAs in eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis and function. Nat Struct Mol Biol 22, 11–19 (2015) doi:10.1038/nsmb.2939

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