Ribosomopathies: New Therapeutic Perspectives

Cells. 2020 Sep 11;9(9):2080. doi: 10.3390/cells9092080.


Ribosomopathies are a group of rare diseases in which genetic mutations cause defects in either ribosome biogenesis or function, given specific phenotypes. Ribosomal proteins, and multiple other factors that are necessary for ribosome biogenesis (rRNA processing, assembly of subunits, export to cytoplasm), can be affected in ribosomopathies. Despite the need for ribosomes in all cell types, these diseases result mainly in tissue-specific impairments. Depending on the type of ribosomopathy and its pathogenicity, there are many potential therapeutic targets. The present manuscript will review our knowledge of ribosomopathies, discuss current treatments, and introduce the new therapeutic perspectives based on recent research. Diamond-Blackfan anemia, currently treated with blood transfusion prior to steroids, could be managed with a range of new compounds, acting mainly on anemia, such as L-leucine. Treacher Collins syndrome could be managed by various treatments, but it has recently been shown that proteasomal inhibition by MG132 or Bortezomib may improve cranial skeleton malformations. Developmental defects resulting from ribosomopathies could be also treated pharmacologically after birth. It might thus be possible to treat certain ribosomopathies without using multiple treatments such as surgery and transplants. Ribosomopathies remain an open field in the search for new therapeutic approaches based on our recent understanding of the role of ribosomes and progress in gene therapy for curing genetic disorders.

Keywords: riboprotein; ribosome; ribosomopathies; treatment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Diamond-Blackfan / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics*
  • Ribosomal Proteins / metabolism
  • Ribosomes / genetics*
  • Ribosomes / metabolism


  • Ribosomal Proteins