The nucleolus under stress

Mol Cell. 2010 Oct 22;40(2):216-27. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2010.09.024.


Cells typically respond quickly to stress, altering their metabolism to compensate. In mammalian cells, stress signaling usually leads to either cell-cycle arrest or apoptosis, depending on the severity of the insult and the ability of the cell to recover. Stress also often leads to reorganization of nuclear architecture, reflecting the simultaneous inhibition of major nuclear pathways (e.g., replication and transcription) and activation of specific stress responses (e.g., DNA repair). In this review, we focus on how two nuclear organelles, the nucleolus and the Cajal body, respond to stress. The nucleolus senses stress and is a central hub for coordinating the stress response. We review nucleolar function in the stress-induced regulation of p53 and the specific changes in nucleolar morphology and composition that occur upon stress. Crosstalk between nucleoli and CBs is also discussed in the context of stress responses.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleolus / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Coiled Bodies / metabolism
  • DNA Repair / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Stress, Physiological / physiology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / physiology


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53