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Mol Cell Biol. Sep 1992; 12(9): 3865–3871.
PMCID: PMC360260

NSR1 is required for pre-rRNA processing and for the proper maintenance of steady-state levels of ribosomal subunits.

Abstract

NSR1 is a yeast nuclear localization sequence-binding protein showing striking similarity in its domain structure to nucleolin. Cells lacking NSR1 are viable but have a severe growth defect. We show here that NSR1, like nucleolin, is involved in ribosome biogenesis. The nsr1 mutant is deficient in pre-rRNA processing such that the initial 35S pre-rRNA processing is blocked and 20S pre-rRNA is nearly absent. The reduced amount of 20S pre-rRNA leads to a shortage of 18S rRNA and is reflected in a change in the distribution of 60S and 40S ribosomal subunits; there is no free pool of 40S subunits, and the free pool of 60S subunits is greatly increased in size. The lack of free 40S subunits or the improper assembly of these subunits causes the nsr1 mutant to show sensitivity to the antibiotic paromomycin, which affects protein translation, at concentrations that do not affect the growth of the wild-type strain. Our data support the idea that NSR1 is involved in the proper assembly of pre-rRNA particles, possibly by bringing rRNA and ribosomal proteins together by virtue of its nuclear localization sequence-binding domain and multiple RNA recognition motifs. Alternatively, NSR1 may also act to regulate the nuclear entry of ribosomal proteins required for proper assembly of pre-rRNA particles.

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