Ribosome dysfunction in osteoarthritis

Guus G H van den Akker, Marjolein M J Caron, Mandy J Peffers, Tim J M Welting*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Translation of genetic information encoded within mRNA molecules by ribosomes into proteins is a key part of the central dogma of molecular biology. Despite the central position of the ribosome in the translation of proteins, and considering the major proteomic changes that occur in the joint during osteoarthritis development and progression, the ribosome has received very limited attention as driver of osteoarthritis pathogenesis.

RECENT FINDINGS: We provide an overview of the limited literature regarding this developing topic for the osteoarthritis field. Recent key findings that connect ribosome biogenesis and activity with osteoarthritis include: ribosomal RNA transcription, processing and maturation, ribosomal protein expression, protein translation capacity and preferential translation.

SUMMARY: The ribosome as the central cellular protein synthesis hub is largely neglected in osteoarthritis research. Findings included in this review reveal that in osteoarthritis, ribosome aberrations have been found from early-stage ribosome biogenesis, through ribosome build-up and maturation, up to preferential translation. Classically, osteoarthritis has been explained as an imbalance between joint tissue anabolism and catabolism. We postulate that osteoarthritis can be interpreted as an acquired ribosomopathy. This hypothesis fine-tunes the dogmatic anabolism/katabolism point-of-view, and may provide novel molecular opportunities for the development of osteoarthritis disease-modifying treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-67
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Rheumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis/genetics
  • Proteomics
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • Ribosomal Proteins/genetics
  • Ribosomes/genetics

Cite this