The biogenesis of the large (60S) ribosomal subunit in eukaryotes involves nucleolar, nucleoplasmic, and cytoplasmic steps. The cytoplasmic protein Rei1, found in all eukaryotes, was previously shown to be necessary for the nuclear reimport of 60S subunit export factor Arx1. In this study we investigate the function of Reh1, a protein with high sequence similarity to Rei1. We demonstrate an overlapping function for Reh1 and Rei1 in the cytoplasmic maturation of the 60S subunit that is independent of Arx1 recycling. We observe that strains lacking both Reh1 and Rei1 accumulate salt-labile 60S subunits, suggesting that Reh1/Rei1 is necessary for the cytoplasmic 60S subunit to adopt its mature, stable form.
Allelic forms of DRG1/AFG2 confer resistance to the drug diazaborine, an inhibitor of ribosome biogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Our results show that the AAA-ATPase Drg1 is essential for 60S maturation and associates with 60S precursor particles in the cytoplasm. Functional inactivation of Drg1 leads to an increased cytoplasmic localization of shuttling pre-60S maturation factors like Rlp24, Arx1, and Tif6. Surprisingly, Nog1, a nuclear pre-60S factor, was also relocalized to the cytoplasm under these conditions, suggesting that it is a previously unsuspected shuttling preribosomal factor that is exported with the precursor particles and very rapidly reimported. Proteins that became cytoplasmic under drg1 mutant conditions were blocked on pre-60S particles at a step that precedes the association of Rei1, a later-acting preribosomal factor. A similar cytoplasmic accumulation of Nog1 and Rlp24 in pre-60S-bound form could be seen after overexpression of a dominant-negative Drg1 variant mutated in the D2 ATPase domain. We conclude that the ATPase activity of Drg1 is required for the release of shuttling proteins from the pre-60S particles shortly after their nuclear export. This early cytoplasmic release reaction defines a novel step in eukaryotic ribosome maturation.
Arx1 and Rei1 are found on late pre-60S ribosomal particles containing the export adaptor Nmd3. Arx1 is related to methionine aminopeptidases (MetAPs), and Rei1 is a C2H2 zinc finger protein whose function in ribosome biogenesis has not been previously characterized. Arx1 and Rei1 localized predominately to the nucleus and cytoplasm, respectively, but could be coimmunoprecipitated, suggesting that they are transiently in the same 60S complex. arx1Δ mutants showed a modest accumulation of 60S subunits in the nucleus, suggesting that Arx1 enhances 60S export. Deletion of REI1 led to cold sensitivity and redistribution of Arx1 to the cytoplasm, where it remained bound to free 60S subunits. However, deletion of ARX1 or the fusion of enhanced GFP (eGFP) to Rpl25 suppressed the cold sensitivity of an rei1Δ mutant. The presence of eGFP on Rpl25 or its neighboring protein Rpl35 reduced the binding of Arx1 to 60S subunits, suggesting that Arx1 binds to 60S subunits in the vicinity of the exit tunnel. Mutations in Arx1 that disrupted its binding to 60S also suppressed an rei1Δ mutant and restored the normal nuclear localization of Arx1. These results indicate that the cold sensitivity of rei1Δ cells is due to the persistence of Arx1 on 60S subunits in the cytoplasm. Furthermore, these results suggest that Rei1 is needed for release of Arx1 from nascent 60S subunits after export to the cytoplasm but not for the subsequent nuclear import of Arx1.
Pre-ribosomal particles evolve in the nucleus through transient interaction with biogenesis factors, before export to the cytoplasm. Here, we report the architecture of the late pre-60S particle purified from Saccharomyces cerevisiae through Arx1, a nuclear export factor with structural homology to methionine aminopeptidases, or its binding partner Alb1. Cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction of the Arx1-particle at 11.9 Å resolution reveals regions of extra densities on the pre-60S particle attributed to associated biogenesis factors, confirming the immature state of the nascent subunit. One of these densities could be unambiguously assigned to Arx1. Immuno-electron microscopy and UV cross-linking localize Arx1 close to the ribosomal exit tunnel in direct contact with ES27, a highly dynamic eukaryotic rRNA expansion segment. The binding of Arx1 at the exit tunnel may position this export factor to prevent premature recruitment of ribosome-associated factors active during translation.
The P-site of the 60S ribosomal subunit signals to Tif6 via Elf1 during ribosomal maturation, suggesting a quasifunctional check of the integrity of the 60S subunit before the first round of translation.
Eukaryotic ribosomes are preassembled in the nucleus and mature in the cytoplasm. Release of the antiassociation factor Tif6 by the translocase-like guanosine triphosphatase Efl1 is a critical late maturation step. In this paper, we show that a loop of Rpl10 that embraces the P-site transfer ribonucleic acid was required for release of Tif6, 90 Å away. Mutations in this P-site loop blocked 60S maturation but were suppressed by mutations in Tif6 or Efl1. Molecular dynamics simulations of the mutant Efl1 proteins suggest that they promote a conformation change in Efl1 equivalent to changes that elongation factor G and eEF2 undergo during translocation. These results identify molecular signaling from the P-site to Tif6 via Efl1, suggesting that the integrity of the P-site is interrogated during maturation. We propose that Efl1 promotes a functional check of the integrity of the 60S subunit before its first round of translation.
Box C/D snoRNPs, factors essential for ribosome biogenesis, are proposed to be assembled in the nucleoplasm before localizing to the nucleolus. However, recent work demonstrated the involvement of nuclear export factors in this process, suggesting that export may take place. Here we show that there are distinct distributions of U8 pre-snoRNAs and pre-snoRNP complexes in HeLa cell nuclear and cytoplasmic extracts. We observed differential association of nuclear export (PHAX, CRM1, and Ran) factors with complexes in the two extracts, consistent with nucleocytoplasmic transport. Furthermore, we show that the U8 pre-snoRNA in one of the cytoplasmic complexes contains an m3G cap and is associated with the nuclear import factor Snurportin1. Using RNA interference, we show that loss of either PHAX or Snurportin1 results in the incorrect localization of the U8 snoRNA. Our data therefore show that nuclear export and import factors are directly involved in U8 box C/D snoRNP biogenesis. The distinct distribution of U8 pre-snoRNP complexes between the two cellular compartments together with the association of both nuclear import and export factors with the precursor complex suggests that the mammalian U8 snoRNP is exported during biogenesis.
The step by step assembly process from preribosome in the nucleus to translation-competent 60S ribosome subunit in the cytoplasm is revealed (also see Lo et al. in this issue).
Before entering translation, preribosomal particles undergo sequential late maturation steps. In the case of pre-60S particles, these steps involve the release of shuttling maturation factors and transport receptors. In this study, we report a new maturation step in the 60S biogenesis pathway in budding yeast. We show that efficient release of the nucleolar/nuclear ribosomal-like protein Mrt4 (homologous to the acidic ribosomal P-protein Rpp0) from pre-60S particles requires the highly conserved protein Yvh1, which associates only with late pre-60S particles. Cell biological and biochemical analyses reveal that Mrt4 fails to dissociate from late pre-60S particles in yvh1Δ cells, inducing a delay in nuclear pre–ribosomal RNA processing and a pre-60S export defect in yvh1Δ cells. Moreover, we have isolated gain of function alleles of Mrt4 that specifically bypass the requirement for Yvh1 and rescue all yvh1Δ-associated phenotypes. Together, our data suggest that Yvh1-mediated release of Mrt4 precedes cytoplasmic loading of Rpp0 on pre-60S particles and is an obligatory late step toward construction of translation-competent 60S subunits.
During their biogenesis, 40S ribosomal subunit precursors are exported from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, where final maturation occurs. In this study, we show that the protein kinase human Rio2 (hRio2) is part of a late 40S preribosomal particle in human cells. Using a novel 40S biogenesis and export assay, we analyzed the contribution of hRio2 to late 40S maturation. Although hRio2 is not absolutely required for pre-40S export, deletion of its binding site for the export receptor CRM1 decelerated the kinetics of this process. Moreover, in the absence of hRio2, final cytoplasmic 40S maturation is blocked because the recycling of several trans-acting factors and cytoplasmic 18S-E precursor ribosomal RNA (rRNA [pre-rRNA]) processing are defective. Intriguingly, the physical presence of hRio2 but not its kinase activity is necessary for the release of hEnp1 from cytoplasmic 40S precursors. In contrast, hRio2 kinase activity is essential for the recycling of hDim2, hLtv1, and hNob1 as well as for 18S-E pre-rRNA processing. Thus, hRio2 is involved in late 40S maturation at several distinct steps.
The nuclear export of the preribosomal 60S (pre-60S) subunit is coordinated with late steps in ribosome assembly. Here, we show that Bud20, a conserved C2H2-type zinc finger protein, is an unrecognized shuttling factor required for the efficient export of pre-60S subunits. Bud20 associates with late pre-60S particles in the nucleoplasm and accompanies them into the cytoplasm, where it is released through the action of the Drg1 AAA-ATPase. Cytoplasmic Bud20 is then reimported via a Kap123-dependent pathway. The deletion of Bud20 induces a strong pre-60S export defect and causes synthetic lethality when combined with mutant alleles of known pre-60S subunit export factors. The function of Bud20 in ribosome export depends on a short conserved N-terminal sequence, as we observed that mutations or the deletion of this motif impaired 60S subunit export and generated the genetic link to other pre-60S export factors. We suggest that the shuttling Bud20 is recruited to the nascent 60S subunit via its central zinc finger rRNA binding domain to facilitate the subsequent nuclear export of the preribosome employing its N-terminal extension.
We report the characterization of a novel factor, Nob1p (Yor056c), which is essential for the synthesis of 40S ribosome subunits. Genetic depletion of Nob1p strongly inhibits the processing of the 20S pre-rRNA to the mature 18S rRNA, leading to the accumulation of high levels of the 20S pre-rRNA together with novel degradation intermediates. 20S processing occurs within a pre-40S particle after its export from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Consistent with a direct role in this cleavage, Nob1p was shown to be associated with the pre-40S particle and to be present in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm. This suggests that Nob1p accompanies the pre-40S ribosomes during nuclear export. Pre-40S export is not, however, inhibited by depletion of Nob1p.
Nucleolin is a multifunctional phosphoprotein ubiquitously distributed in the nucleolus, nucleus and cytoplasm of the cell. Nucleolin has a bipartite nuclear localization signal sequence and is conserved in animals, plants and yeast. Its levels are correlated with the rate of functional activity of the nucleolus in exponentially growing cells. Nucleolin contains intrinsic DNA and RNA helicase, nucleic-acid-dependent ATPase and self-cleaving activities. It binds RNA through its RNA recognition motifs. It regulates various aspects of DNA and RNA metabolism, chromatin structure, rDNA transcription, rRNA maturation, cytokinesis, nucleogenesis, cell proliferation and growth, the folding, maturation and ribosome assembly and nucleocytoplasmic transport of newly synthesized pre-RNAs. In this review we present an overview on nucleolin, its localization, structure and various functions. We also describe the discovery and important studies of nucleolin in plants.
cytoplasm; helicase; nucleolus; phosphoprotein; ribosome
The step by step assembly process from preribosome in the nucleus to translation-competent 60S ribosome subunit in the cytoplasm is revealed (also see Kemmler et al. in this issue).
The ribosome stalk is essential for recruitment of translation factors. In yeast, P0 and Rpl12 correspond to bacterial L10 and L11 and form the stalk base of mature ribosomes, whereas Mrt4 is a nuclear paralogue of P0. In this study, we show that the dual-specificity phosphatase Yvh1 is required for the release of Mrt4 from the pre-60S subunits. Deletion of YVH1 leads to the persistence of Mrt4 on pre-60S subunits in the cytoplasm. A mutation in Mrt4 at the protein–RNA interface bypasses the requirement for Yvh1. Pre-60S subunits associated with Yvh1 contain Rpl12 but lack both Mrt4 and P0. These results suggest a linear series of events in which Yvh1 binds to the pre-60S subunit to displace Mrt4. Subsequently, P0 loads onto the subunit to assemble the mature stalk, and Yvh1 is released. The initial assembly of the ribosome with Mrt4 may provide functional compartmentalization of ribosome assembly in addition to the spatial separation afforded by the nuclear envelope.
In eukaryotic cells the final maturation of ribosomes occurs in the cytoplasm, where trans-acting factors are removed and critical ribosomal proteins are added for functionality. Here, we have carried out a comprehensive analysis of cytoplasmic maturation, ordering the known steps into a coherent pathway. Maturation is initiated by the ATPase Drg1. Downstream, assembly of the ribosome stalk is essential for the release of Tif6. The stalk recruits GTPases during translation. Because the GTPase Efl1, which is required for the release of Tif6, resembles the translation elongation factor eEF2, we suggest that assembly of the stalk recruits Efl1, triggering a step in 60S biogenesis that mimics aspects of translocation. Efl1 could thereby provide a mechanism to functionally check the nascent subunit. Finally, the release of Tif6 is a prerequisite for the release of the nuclear export adapter Nmd3. Establishing this pathway provides an important conceptual framework for understanding ribosome maturation.
ribosome; ribosome biogenesis; EFL1; NMD3; TIF6
The nucleocytoplasmic exchange of macromolecules is mediated by receptors specialized in passage through the nuclear pore complex. The majority of these receptors belong to the importin β protein family, which has 14 members in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nine importins carry various cargos from the cytoplasm into the nucleus, whereas four exportins mediate nuclear export. Kap120 is the only receptor whose transport cargo has not been found previously. Here, we characterize Kap120 as an importin for the ribosome maturation factor Rpf1, which was identified in a two-hybrid screen. Kap120 binds directly to Rpf1 in vitro and is released by Ran-GTP. At least three parallel import pathways exist for Rpf1, since nuclear import is defective in strains with the importins Kap120, Kap114, and Nmd5 deleted. Both kap120 and rpf1 mutants accumulate large ribosomal subunits in the nucleus. The nuclear accumulation of 60S ribosomal subunits in kap120 mutants is abolished upon RPF1 overexpression, indicating that Kap120 does not function in the actual ribosomal export step but rather in import of ribosome maturation factors.
We previously showed that nuclear export of the large (60S) ribosomal subunit relies on Nmd3 in a Crm1-dependent manner. Recently the general mRNA export factor, the Mtr2/Mex67 heterodimer, was shown to act as an export receptor in parallel with Crm1. These observations raise the possibility that nuclear export of the 60S subunit in Saccharomyces cerevisiae requires multiple export receptors. Here, we show that the previously characterized 60S subunit biogenesis factor, Arx1, also acts as an export receptor for the 60S subunit. We found that deletion of ARX1 was synthetic lethal with nmd3 and mtr2 mutants and was synthetic sick with several nucleoporin mutants. Deletion of ARX1 led to accumulation of pre-60S particles in the nucleus that were enriched for Nmd3, Crm1, Mex67, and Mtr2, suggesting that in the absence of Arx1, 60S export is impaired even though the subunit is loaded with export receptors. Finally, Arx1 interacted with several nucleoporins in yeast two-hybrid as well as in vitro assays. These results show that Arx1 can directly bridge the interaction between the pre-60S particle and the NPC and thus is a third export receptor for the 60S subunit in yeast.
Ribosome synthesis in eukaryotes requires a multitude of trans-acting factors. These factors act at many steps as the pre-ribosomal particles travel from the nucleolus to the cytoplasm. In contrast to the well-studied trans-acting factors, little is known about the contribution of the ribosomal proteins to ribosome biogenesis. Herein, we have analysed the role of ribosomal protein Rpl3p in 60S ribosomal subunit biogenesis. In vivo depletion of Rpl3p results in a deficit in 60S ribosomal subunits and the appearance of half-mer polysomes. This phenotype is likely due to the instability of early and intermediate pre-ribosomal particles, as evidenced by the low steady-state levels of 27SA3, 27SBS and 7SL/S precursors. Furthermore, depletion of Rpl3p impairs the nucleocytoplasmic export of pre-60S ribosomal particles. Interestingly, flow cytometry analysis indicates that Rpl3p-depleted cells arrest in the G1 phase. Altogether, we suggest that upon depletion of Rpl3p, early assembly of 60S ribosomal subunits is aborted and subsequent steps during their maturation and export prevented.
Nucleophosmin (NPM) is a nucleolar phosphoprotein that shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm during the cell cycle. NPM has several interacting partners and diverse cellular functions, including the processing of ribosomal RNA, centrosome duplication and the control of cellular processes to ensure genomic stability. Subcellular localization of NPM appears to be strongly correlated with NPM functions and cell proliferation. NPM is phosphorylated mainly at its central acidic domain by several upstream kinases, and its phosphorylation appears to be involved in regulating its functions in ribosome biogenesis and centrosome duplication. Recent studies suggest that NPM may act as a licensing factor to maintain proper centrosome duplication and that the Ran/CRM1 nucleocytoplasmic complex regulates local trafficking of NPM to centrosomes by interacting through its nuclear export sequence (NES) motif. Here, we provide a brief overview of NPM functions and its roles in human carcinogenesis, and discuss our recent findings related to the potential mechanisms underlying its regulation of centrosome duplication.
Nucleophosmin; Phosphorylation; Centrosome duplication; Ran/CRM1
Subsets of 40S ribosomal subunits are required for initiating rRNA processing, rRNA maturation, and nuclear export.
Our knowledge of the functions of metazoan ribosomal proteins in ribosome synthesis remains fragmentary. Using siRNAs, we show that knockdown of 31 of the 32 ribosomal proteins of the human 40S subunit (ribosomal protein of the small subunit [RPS]) strongly affects pre–ribosomal RNA (rRNA) processing, which often correlates with nucleolar chromatin disorganization. 16 RPSs are strictly required for initiating processing of the sequences flanking the 18S rRNA in the pre-rRNA except at the metazoan-specific early cleavage site. The remaining 16 proteins are necessary for progression of the nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation steps and for nuclear export. Distribution of these two subsets of RPSs in the 40S subunit structure argues for a tight dependence of pre-rRNA processing initiation on the folding of both the body and the head of the forming subunit. Interestingly, the functional dichotomy of RPS proteins reported in this study is correlated with the mutation frequency of RPS genes in Diamond-Blackfan anemia.
hRio1 is an atypical protein kinase of the conserved RIO family. Depletion of hRio1 affects the last step of 18S rRNA maturation and causes defects in recycling of trans-acting factors from pre-40S subunits in the cytoplasm. The kinase activity of hRio1 is essential for recycling of the endonuclease hNob1 and its binding partner hDim2 from pre-40S.
RIO proteins form a conserved family of atypical protein kinases. Humans possess three distinct RIO kinases—hRio1, hRio2, and hRio3, of which only hRio2 has been characterized with respect to its role in ribosomal biogenesis. Here we show that both hRio1 and hRio3, like hRio2, are associated with precursors of 40S ribosomal subunits in human cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that depletion of hRio1 by RNA interference affects the last step of 18S rRNA maturation and causes defects in the recycling of several trans-acting factors (hEnp1, hRio2, hLtv1, hDim2/PNO1, and hNob1) from pre-40S subunits in the cytoplasm. Although the effects of hRio1 and hRio2 depletion are similar, we show that the two kinases are not fully interchangeable. Moreover, rescue experiments with a kinase-dead mutant of hRio1 revealed that the kinase activity of hRio1 is essential for the recycling of the endonuclease hNob1 and its binding partner hDim2 from cytoplasmic pre-40S. Kinase-dead hRio1 is trapped on pre-40S particles containing hDim2 and hNob1 but devoid of hEnp1, hLtv1, and hRio2. These data reveal a role of hRio1 in the final stages of cytoplasmic pre-40S maturation.
It has been suggested that the tandemly repeated ribosomal genes of eukaryotes may be subject to a special mechanism of transcriptional enhancement, called Readthrough Enhancement, in which transcription factors are recycled. Recent experiments with the mouse ribosomal genes, although consistent with this possibility, were unable to distinguish between true Readthrough Enhancement and promoter occlusion. To test directly for Readthrough Enhancement, the pre-ribosomal RNA of Xenopus laevis was prematurely terminated within the 18S gene on a circular template. This premature termination was found to reduce the efficiency of pre-ribosomal RNA promotion in cis by 80 to 90%. Since the pre-ribosomal RNA is normally terminated only 213 base pairs upstream of its own initiation site, the results strongly suggest that the recycling of RNA polymerase, or Readthrough Enhancement, is a means by which ribosomal transcription is enhanced in Xenopus laevis.
Ribosome synthesis involves the coordinated folding and processing of pre-rRNAs with assembly of ribosomal proteins. In eukaryotes, these events are facilitated by trans-acting factors that propel ribosome maturation from the nucleolus to the cytoplasm. However, there is a gap in understanding how ribosomal proteins configure pre-ribosomes in vivo to enable processing to occur. Here, we have examined the role of adjacent yeast r-proteins L17, L35 and L37 in folding and processing of pre-rRNAs, and binding of other proteins within assembling ribosomes. These three essential ribosomal proteins, which surround the polypeptide exit tunnel, are required for 60S subunit formation as a consequence of their role in removal of the ITS2 spacer from 27SB pre-rRNA. L17-, L35- and L37-depleted cells exhibit turnover of aberrant pre-60S assembly intermediates. Although the structure of ITS2 does not appear to be grossly affected in their absence, these three ribosomal proteins are necessary for efficient recruitment of factors required for 27SB pre-rRNA processing, namely, Nsa2 and Nog2, which associate with pre-60S ribosomal particles containing 27SB pre-rRNAs. Altogether, these data support that L17, L35 and L37 are specifically required for a recruiting step immediately preceding removal of ITS2.
Infection of mammalian cells by picornaviruses results in the nucleocytoplasmic redistribution of certain host cell proteins. These viruses interfere with import-export pathways, allowing for the cytoplasmic accumulation of nuclear proteins that are then available to function in viral processes. We recently described the cytoplasmic relocalization of cellular splicing factor SRp20 during poliovirus infection. SRp20 is an important internal ribosome entry site (IRES) trans-acting factor (ITAF) for poliovirus IRES-mediated translation; however, it is not known whether other picornaviruses utilize SRp20 as an ITAF and direct its cytoplasmic relocalization. Also, the mechanism by which poliovirus directs the accumulation of SRp20 in the cytoplasm of the infected cell is currently unknown. Work described in this report demonstrated that infection by another picornavirus (coxsackievirus B3) causes SRp20 to relocalize from the nucleus to the cytoplasm of HeLa cells, similar to poliovirus infection; however, SRp20 is relocalized to a somewhat lesser extent in the cytoplasm of HeLa cells during infection by yet another picornavirus (human rhinovirus 16). We show that expression of poliovirus 2A proteinase is sufficient to cause the nucleocytoplasmic redistribution of SRp20. Following expression of poliovirus 2A proteinase in HeLa cells, we detect cleavage of specific nuclear pore proteins known to be cleaved during poliovirus infection. We also find that expression of human rhinovirus 16 2A proteinase alone can cause efficient cytoplasmic relocalization of SRp20, despite the lower levels of SRp20 relocalization observed during rhinovirus infection compared to poliovirus. Taken together, these results further define the mechanism of SRp20 cellular redistribution during picornavirus infections, and they provide additional insight into some of the differences observed between human rhinovirus and other enterovirus infections.
P68 RNA helicase is a prototypical DEAD box RNA helicase. The protein plays a very important role in early organ development and maturation. In consistence with the function of the protein in transcriptional regulation and pre-mRNA splicing, p68 was found to predominately localize in the cell nucleus. However, recent experiments demonstrate a transient cytoplasmic localization of the protein. We report here that p68 shuttles between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. The nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of p68 is mediated by two nuclear localization signal (NLS) and two nuclear exporting signal (NES) sequence elements. Our experiments reveal that p68 shuttles via a classical RanGTPase dependent pathway.
P68 RNA helicase; Nucleocytoplasm Shuttle; NLS; NES; DEAD-box
Transport of protein and RNA cargoes between the nucleus and cytoplasm (nucleocytoplasmic transport) is vital for a variety of cellular functions. The studies of kinetics involved in such processes have been hindered by the lack of quantitative tools for measurement of the nuclear and cytosolic fractions of an intracellular protein at the single cell level for a cell population. In this report, we describe using a novel method, microfluidic electroporative flow cytometry, to study kinetics of nucleocytoplasmic transport of an important transcription factor NF-κB. With data collected from single cells, we quantitatively characterize the population-averaged kinetic parameters such as the rate constants and apparent activation barrier for NF-κB transport. Our data demonstrate that NF-κB nucleocytoplasmic transport fits first-order kinetics very well and is a fairly reversible process governed by equilibrium thermodynamics.
Ribosomes are the nanomachines that synthesize all cellular proteins from mRNA templates. In eukaryotes, ribosomes, which are composed of ribosomal proteins and rRNA, are mainly assembled in the nucleus. Thus, ribosomal proteins require a nuclear transport step from their place of synthesis in the cytoplasm to their site of assembly in the nucleus. Recognition of import substrates is mediated by different types of nuclear localization signals, which are either directly recognized by import receptors or recruited to these via adaptor proteins. The novel transport adaptor Syo1 (Symportin), which is dedicated to the synchronous import of two functionally related ribosomal proteins, has recently been described. In this review, we highlight and discuss these findings in the context of our current knowledge of ribosome assembly and nucleocytoplasmic transport. We propose that nuclear co-import of functionally and topologically linked cargo could be a widespread strategy to streamline assembly of macromolecular complexes in the nucleus.
nuclear import; transport adaptor; nuclear localization signal; ribosome assembly; ribosomal protein; chaperone