The ability of a cell to undergo malignant transformation is both associated with and dependent on a concomitant increase in protein synthesis due to increased cell division rates and biosynthetic activities. Protein synthesis, in turn, depends upon the synthesis of ribosomes and thus ultimately on the transcription of ribosomal RNA by RNA polymerase I that occurs in the nucleolus. Enlargement of nucleoli has long been considered a hallmark of the malignant cell, but it is only recently that the rate of synthesis of rRNA in the nucleolus has been recognized as both a critical regulator of cellular proliferation and a potential target for therapeutic intervention. As might be expected, the factors regulating rRNA synthesis are both numerous and complex. It is the objective of this review to highlight recent advances in understanding how rRNA synthesis is perturbed in transformed mammalian cells and to consider the impact of these findings on the development of new approaches to the treatment of malignancies. In-depth analysis of the process of rRNA transcription itself may be found in several recently published reviews (Drygin et al., 2010, Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol 50:131-156; Bywater et al., 2013,Cancer Cell 22: 51-65; Hein et al., 2013,Trends Mol Med 19:643-654). J. Cell. Physiol. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jcp.24854
View details for Web of Science ID 000350303400003