Ribosomopathies are rare congenital disorders associated with defective ribosome biogenesis due to pathogenic variations in genes that encode proteins related to ribosome function and biogenesis. Defects in ribosome biogenesis result in a nucleolar stress response involving the TP53 tumor suppressor protein and impaired protein synthesis leading to a deregulated translational output. Despite the accepted notion that ribosomes are omnipresent and essential for all cells, most ribosomopathies show tissue-specific phenotypes affecting blood cells, hair, spleen, or skin. On the other hand, defects in mitochondrial ribosome biogenesis are associated with a range of clinical manifestations affecting more than one organ. Intriguingly, the deregulated ribosomal function is also a feature in several human malignancies with a selective upregulation or downregulation of specific ribosome components. Here, we highlight the clinical conditions associated with defective ribosome biogenesis in the nucleus and mitochondria with a description of the affected genes and the implicated pathways, along with a note on the treatment strategies currently available for these disorders.
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