Signaling to p53: ribosomal proteins find their way

Cancer Cell. 2009 Nov 6;16(5):369-77. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2009.09.024.


Inherently disparate cell growth and division, which are intimately coupled through a delicate network of intracellular and extracellular signaling, require ribosomal biogenesis. A number of events imparting instability to ribosomal biogenesis can cause nucleolar stress. In response to this stress, several ribosomal proteins bind to MDM2 and block MDM2-mediated p53 ubiquitination and degradation, resulting in p53-dependent cell cycle arrest. By doing so, the ribosomal proteins play a crucial role in connecting deregulated cell growth with inhibition of cell division. The ribosomal protein-MDM2-p53 signaling pathway provides a molecular switch that may constitute a surveillance network monitoring the integrity of ribosomal biogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Humans
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2 / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2 / metabolism
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics
  • Ribosomal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitination


  • Ribosomal Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2