The Expanding Riboverse

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Sulima, S.O.; Dinman, J.D. The Expanding Riboverse. Cells 2019, 8, 1205.


Subverting the conventional concept of “the” ribosome, a wealth of information gleaned from recent studies is revealing a much more diverse and dynamic ribosomal reality than has traditionally been thought possible. A diverse array of researchers is collectively illuminating a universe of heterogeneous and adaptable ribosomes harboring differences in composition and regulatory capacity: These differences enable specialization. The expanding universe of ribosomes not only comprises an incredible richness in ribosomal specialization between species, but also within the same tissues and even cells. In this review, we discuss ribosomal heterogeneity and speculate how the emerging understanding of the ribosomal repertoire is impacting the biological sciences today. Targeting pathogen-specific and pathological “diseased” ribosomes promises to provide new treatment options for patients, and potential applications for “designer ribosomes” are within reach. Our deepening understanding of and ability to manipulate the ribosome are establishing both the technological and theoretical foundations for major advances for the 21st century and beyond.