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Processing of rRNA during ribosome assembly can proceed through alternative pathways but it is unclear whether this could affect the structure of the ribosome. Here, we demonstrate that shortage of a ribosomal protein can change pre-rRNA processing in a way that over time alters ribosome diversity in the cell. Reducing the amount of Rpl17 in mouse cells led to stalled 60S subunit maturation, causing degradation of most of the synthesized precursors. A fraction of pre-60S subunits, however, were able to complete maturation, but with a 5'-truncated 5.8S rRNA, which we named 5.8SC. The 5' exoribonuclease Xrn2 is involved in the generation of both 5.8S(C) and the canonical long form of 5.8S rRNA. Ribosomes containing 5.8S(C) rRNA are present in various mouse and human cells and engage in translation. These findings uncover a previously undescribed form of mammalian 5.8S rRNA and demonstrate that perturbations in ribosome assembly can be a source of heterogeneity in mature ribosomes. © 2015 Wang et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.


Minshi Wang, Andrey V Parshin, Natalia Shcherbik, Dimitri G Pestov. Reduced expression of the mouse ribosomal protein Rpl17 alters the diversity of mature ribosomes by enhancing production of shortened 5.8S rRNA. RNA (New York, N.Y.). 2015 Jul;21(7):1240-8

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PMID: 25995445

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