Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
The receptor for activated c-kinase (RACK1, Asc1 in yeast) is a eukaryotic ribosomal protein located in the head region of the 40S subunit near the mRNA exit channel. This WD-repeat β-propeller protein acts as a signaling molecule and is involved in metabolic regulation, cell cycle progression, and translational control. However, the exact details of the RACK1 recruitment and stable association with the 40S ribosomal subunit remain only partially known. X-ray analyses of the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, ribosome revealed that the RACK1 propeller blade (4-5) interacts with the eukaryote-specific C-terminal domain (CTD) of ribosomal protein S3 (uS3 family). To check the functional significance of this interaction, we generated mutant yeast strains harboring C-terminal deletions of uS3. We found that deletion of the 20 C-terminal residues (interacting with blade 4-5) from the uS3-CTD abrogates RACK1 binding to the ribosome. Strains with truncated uS3-CTD exhibited compromised cellular growth and protein synthesis similar to that of RACK1Δ strain, thus suggesting that the uS3-CTD is crucial not only for the recruitment and association of RACK1 with the ribosome, but also for its intracellular function. We suggest that eukaryote-specific RACK1-uS3 interaction has evolved to act as a link between the ribosome and the cellular signaling pathways.