Rrs1p, a ribosomal protein L11-binding protein, has an essential role in biogenesis of 60S ribosomal subunits. We obtained conditionally synthetic lethal allele with the rrs1-5 mutation and determined that the mutation is in REX1, which encodes an exonuclease. The highly conserved leucine at 305 was substituted with tryptophan in rex1-1. The rex1-1 allele resulted in 3′-extended 5S rRNA. Polysome analysis revealed that rex1-1 and rrs1-5 caused a synergistic defect in the assembly of 60S ribosomal subunits. In vivo and in vitro binding assays indicate that Rrs1p interacts with the ribosomal protein L5-5S rRNA complex. The rrs1-5 mutation weakens the interaction between Rrs1p with both L5 and L11. These data suggest that the assembly of L5-5S rRNA on 60S ribosomal subunits coordinates with assembly of L11 via Rrs1p.
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