Human rpL3 plays a crucial role in cell response to nucleolar stress induced by 5-FU and L-OHP.

PMID 25473889


Recent evidence showed that a variety of DNA damaging agents including 5-FU and L-OHP impairs ribosomal biogenesis activating a ribosomal stress pathway. Here, we demonstrate that in lung and colon cancer cell lines devoid of p53, the efficacy of 5-FU and L-OHP chemotherapy depends on rpL3 status. Specifically, we demonstrate that ribosomal stress induced by 5-FU and L-OHP is associated to up-regulation of rpL3 and its accumulation as ribosome-free form. We show that rpL3 participates in the cell response to chemotherapy acting as a critical regulator of cell cycle, apoptosis and DNA repair, by modulating p21 expression. Moreover, we demonstrate that rpL3 is able to control DNA repair also independently from p21 status of cell. It is noteworthy that silencing of rpL3 abolishes the cytotoxic effects of 5-FU and L-OH indicating that the loss of rpL3 makes chemotherapy drugs ineffective. Taking together our results shed light on 5-FU and L-OHP mechanism of action and contribute to more effective clinical use of these drugs in cancer therapy.