Ribosomes are intracellular organelles ubiquitous in all organisms, which translate information from mRNAs to synthesize proteins. They are complex macromolecules composed of dozens of proteins and ribosomal RNAs. Other than translation, some ribosomal proteins also have side-jobs called “Moonlighting” function. The majority of these moonlighting functions influence cancer progression, early development and differentiation. Recently, we discovered that ribosome is involved in the regulation of cellular transdifferentiation of human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs). In vitro incorporation of ribosomes into HDFs arrests cell proliferation and induces the formation of cell clusters, that differentiate into three germ layer derived cells upon induction by differentiation mediums. The discovery of ribosome induced transdifferentiation, that is not based on genetic modification, find new possibilities for the treatment of cancer and congenital diseases, as well as to understand early development and cellular lineage differentiation.
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