Bacterial ribosome biogenesis has been an active area of research for more than 30 years and has served as a test-bed for the development of new biochemical, biophysical and structural techniques to understand macromolecular assembly generally. Recent work inspecting the process in vivo has advanced our understanding of the role of ribosome biogenesis factors, the co-transcriptional nature of assembly, the kinetics of the process under sub-optimal conditions, and the rRNA folding and ribosome protein binding pathways. Additionally, new structural work enabled by single-particle electron microscopy has helped to connect in vitro ribosomal protein binding maps to the underlying RNA. This review summarizes the state of these in vivo studies, provides a kinetic model for ribosome assembly under sub-optimal conditions, and describes a framework to compare newly emerging assembly intermediate structures.
This article is part of the themed issue ‘Perspectives on the ribosome’.
- Accepted November 16, 2016.
- © 2017 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.