Ribosome assembly occurs co-transcriptionally on the rRNA genes. This process requires the co-ordinated expression and assembly of many hundreds of proteins and is finely tuned to cell and organism growth. Co-ordinate regulation of the rRNA genes and the ribosomal protein genes is therefore essential for high-fidelity ribosome assembly. Recent work shows that rRNA gene transcription is regulated at the level of elongation via the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. We argue that this may provide an explanation for the high fidelity of ribosome assembly.

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