Research Article chosen as the Journal of Biology and Chemistry Editors’ pick

The Journal of Biology and Chemistry’s Editorial Board Members selected an article published in the July 12th 2019 edition as an Editors’ Pick. The selection was accompanied by an overview of the main findings of the article.

Dr. Dos D. Sarbassov from the Department of Biology of the School of Sciences and Humanities, Nazarbayev University, and a group of scientists, namely Danysh Abetov, Vladimir Kiyan,  Assylbek Zhylkibayev, Dilara Sarbassova, Sanzhar Alybayev, Eric Spooner, Min Sup Song, and Rakhmetkazhy Bersimbaev, studied the process of ribosomal biogenesis and assembly of ribosomes at the nucleolar site, the process which remains poorly characterized because of the dense nature of nucleoli. Their findings and results were published in the research article “Formation of mammalian preribosomes proceeds from intermediate to composed state during ribosome maturation”, Journal of Biological Chemistry, July 12th edition.

To support the study the researchers depicted the mechanism in the article’s picture, which was also chosen as a cover for the journal’s edition.

The process of accumulation of cellular mass is a fundamental biological process known as cell growth. Nutrients control cell growth by regulating a rate of protein synthesis including ribosomal biogenesis (RB). RB is a major biosynthetic process of building of massive cellular machines known as ribosomes. In eukaryotes (organisms whose cells have a nucleus), assembly of ribosomes takes place in a distinctive sub-nuclear organelle – nucleolus.

  • In our study, we isolated and characterized native mammalian preribosomal complexes for the first time by introducing a mild sonication of nuclei. A detailed characterization of mammalian preribosomal complexes indicated that their formation proceeds from an intermediate to composed (assembled) state during ribosome maturation, – explains Dr. Dos Sarbassov.

The researchers note that the significance of this study will be instrumental in defining the mechanisms of ribosomal biogenesis at the nucleolar site and unraveling its deregulation in human diseases.

Thus, it is highly relevant to human cancers because tumors are formed by accelerated and uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Some cancer cells have enlarged nucleoli compared to normal cells, and this enlargement support intensive RB and accelerated growth. Understanding of formation of preribosomal complexes will lead to new drug targets for cancer treatment that could disrupt accelerated cancer cell growth.