Research article published by Nazarbayev University’s researchers ranked as Editor’s Pick


On July 19, 2019, the Editorial Board Members of the Journal of Biological Chemistry selected Nazarbayev University researchers’ article as an Editors’ Pick published in the Journal’s July edition and accompanied it with a highlighted overview of 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, Rakhmetkazhy Bersimbaev studied the process of ribosomal biogenesis and assembly of ribosomes at nucleolar site, the process which remains poorly characterized because of a dense nature of nucleoli. Their findings and results were published in the research article “Formation of mammalian preribosomes proceeds from intermediate to the composed state during ribosome maturation”, Journal of Biological Chemistry, July 12th edition.

The accumulation process 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, 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 D. Sarbassov.

Researchers note that the significance of this study will be instrumental to define the mechanisms of ribosomal biogenesis at the nucleolar site and to unravel its deregulation in human diseases. It is highly relevant to human cancers because of accelerated cancer cell growth. Cancer cells have enlarged nucleoli to support intensive RB and growth. Understanding of formation of preribosomal complexes will lead to new drug targets for cancer treatment.

The research article’s picture was chosen as a cover for the journal’s edition.