Casein kinase 1δ/ε (CK1δ/ε) and their yeast homologue Hrr25 are essential for cell growth. Further, CK1δ is overexpressed in several malignancies, and CK1δ inhibitors have shown promise in several preclinical animal studies. However, the substrates of Hrr25 and CK1δ/ε that are necessary for cell growth and survival are unknown. We show that Hrr25 is essential for ribosome assembly, where it phosphorylates the assembly factor Ltv1, which causes its release from nascent 40S subunits and allows subunit maturation. Hrr25 inactivation or expression of a nonphosphorylatable Ltv1 variant blocked Ltv1 release in vitro and in vivo, and prevented entry into the translation-like quality control cycle. Conversely, phosphomimetic Ltv1 variants rescued viability after Hrr25 depletion. Finally, Ltv1 knockdown in human breast cancer cells impaired apoptosis induced by CK1δ/ε inhibitors, establishing that the antiproliferative activity of these inhibitors is due, at least in part, to disruption of ribosome assembly. These findings validate the ribosome assembly pathway as a novel target for the development of anticancer therapeutics.
© 2015 Ghalei et al.