Publication — IRIC
RIOK2 phosphorylation by RSK promotes synthesis of the human small ribosomal subunit.
Ribosome biogenesis lies at the nexus of various signaling pathways coordinating protein synthesis with cell growth and proliferation. This process is regulated by well-described transcriptional mechanisms, but a growing body of evidence indicates that other levels of regulation exist. Here we show that the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway stimulates post-transcriptional stages of human ribosome synthesis. We identify RIOK2, a pre-40S particle assembly factor, as a new target of the MAPK-activated kinase RSK. RIOK2 phosphorylation by RSK stimulates cytoplasmic maturation of late pre-40S particles, which is required for optimal protein synthesis and cell proliferation. RIOK2 phosphorylation facilitates its release from pre-40S particles and its nuclear re-import, prior to completion of small ribosomal subunits. Our results bring a detailed mechanistic link between the Ras/MAPK pathway and the maturation of human pre-40S particles, which opens a hitherto poorly explored area of ribosome biogenesis.