Getting Ready to Translate: Cytoplasmic Maturation of Eukaryotic Ribosomes


  • Vikram Govind Panse Institute of Biochemistry (IBC) ETH Zürich, Schafmattstrasse 18, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland



Cytoplasmic maturation of ribosomes, Nuclear transport, Ribosome biogenesis, Ribosome export


The ribosome is the 'universal ribozyme' that is responsible for the final step of decoding genetic information into proteins. While the function of the ribosome is being elucidated at the atomic level, in comparison, little is known regarding its assembly in vivo and intracellular transport. In contrast to prokaryotic ribosomes, the construction of eukaryotic ribosomes, which begins in the nucleolus, requires >200 evolutionary conserved non-ribosomal trans-acting factors, which transiently associate with pre-ribosomal subunits at distinct assembly stages and perform specific maturation steps. Notably, pre-ribosomal subunits are transported to the cytoplasm in a functionally inactive state where they undergo maturation prior to entering translation. In this review, I will summarize our current knowledge of the eukaryotic ribosome assembly pathway with emphasis on cytoplasmic maturation events that render pre-ribosomal subunits translation competent.