Depletion of ribosomal protein L37 occurs in response to DNA damage and activates p53 through the L11/MDM2 pathway

Cell Cycle. 2010 Oct 1;9(19):4005-12. doi: 10.4161/cc.9.19.13299. Epub 2010 Oct 9.


Perturbation of ribosomal biogenesis has recently emerged as a relevant p53-activating pathway. This pathway can be initiated by depletion of certain ribosomal proteins, which is followed by the binding and inhibition of MDM2 by a different subset of ribosomal proteins that includes L11. Here, we report that depletion of L37 leads to cell cycle arrest in a L11- and p53-dependent manner. DNA damage can initiate ribosomal stress, although little is known about the mechanisms involved. We have found that some genotoxic insults, namely, UV light and cisplatin, lead to proteasomal degradation of L37 in the nucleoplasm and to the ensuing L11-dependent stabilization of p53. Moreover, ectopic L37 overexpression can attenuate the DNA damage response mediated by p53. These results support the concept that DNA damage-induced proteasomal degradation of L37 constitutes a mechanistic link between DNA damage and the ribosomal stress pathway, and is a relevant contributing signaling pathway for the activation of p53 in response to DNA damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA Damage*
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Humans
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2 / metabolism*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics
  • Ribosomal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • RPL37 protein, human
  • Ribosomal Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • ribosomal protein L11
  • MDM2 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2