mTORC1 signaling controls multiple steps in ribosome biogenesis

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2014 Dec;36:113-20. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2014.08.004. Epub 2014 Aug 19.


Ribosome biogenesis is critical for cells to generate the ribosomes they need for protein synthesis in order to survive, grow and proliferate. It is a complex process, involving the coordinated production of four different RNA species and about 80 proteins, as well as their assembly into functional ribosomal subunits. Given its high demand for amino acids and nucleotides, it is also a metabolically expensive process for the cell. The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is a protein kinases which is activated by nutrients, anabolic hormones and oncogenic signaling pathways. mTORC1 positively regulates several steps in ribosome biogenesis, including ribosomal RNA transcription, the synthesis of ribosomal proteins and other components required for ribosome assembly. mTORC1 can thus coordinate stimuli which promote ribosome production with the various steps involved in this process. Although important advances have been made in our understanding of mTORC1 signaling, major questions remain about the molecular mechanisms by which it regulates ribosome biogenesis.

Keywords: 5′-TOP; Mammalian target of rapamycin; RNA polymerase; Rapamycin; Ribosomal protein; mTOR; mTOR complex 1; rRNA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1
  • Multiprotein Complexes / genetics
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism*
  • Protein Biosynthesis / genetics*
  • RNA Polymerase I / genetics
  • RNA Polymerase III / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal / biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • Ribosomal Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics
  • Ribosomes / genetics
  • Ribosomes / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*


  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • Ribosomal Proteins
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • RNA Polymerase I
  • RNA Polymerase III