Pescadillo is essential for nucleolar assembly, ribosome biogenesis, and mammalian cell proliferation

J Biol Chem. 2002 Nov 22;277(47):45347-55. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M208338200. Epub 2002 Sep 16.


Mutation of the zebrafish pescadillo gene blocks expansion of a number of tissues in the developing embryo, suggesting roles for its gene product in controlling cell proliferation. We report that levels of the pescadillo protein increase in rodent hepatocytes as they enter the cell cycle. Pescadillo protein localizes to distinct substructures of the interphase nucleus including nucleoli, the site of ribosome biogenesis. During mitosis pescadillo closely associates with the periphery of metaphase chromosomes and by late anaphase is associated with nucleolus-derived foci and prenucleolar bodies. Blastomeres in mouse embryos lacking pescadillo arrest at morula stages of development, the nucleoli fail to differentiate and accumulation of ribosomes is inhibited. We propose that in mammalian cells pescadillo is essential for ribosome biogenesis and nucleologenesis and that disruption to its function results in cell cycle arrest.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Cell Nucleolus / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embryo, Mammalian / physiology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / ultrastructure
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Female
  • Gene Targeting
  • Genotype
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ribosomes / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Zebrafish / genetics
  • Zebrafish / metabolism
  • Zebrafish Proteins*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Pes1 protein, mouse
  • Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • pes protein, zebrafish