The conserved signal recognition particle targets ribosomes synthesizing presecretory proteins to the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. Key to the activity of SRP is its ability to bind the ribosome at distant locations, the signal sequence exit and elongation factor-binding sites. These contacts are made by the S and Alu domains of SRP, respectively. We tested earlier secondary structure predictions of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae SRP RNA, scR1, and provide and test a consensus structure. The structure contains four non-conserved insertions, helices 9-12, into the core SRP RNA fold, and an extended helix 7. Using a series of scR1 mutants lacking part or all of these structural elements, we find that they are important for the RNA in both function and assembly of the RNP. About 20% of the RNA, corresponding to the outer regions of these helices, is dispensable for function. Further, we examined the role of several features within the S-domain section of the core, helix 5, and find that its length and flexibility are important for proper SRP function and become essential in the absence of helix 10, 11 and/or 7 regions. Overall, the genetic data indicate that regions of scR1 distant in both primary sequence and secondary structure have interrelated roles in the function of the complex, and possibly mediate communication between Alu and S domains during targeting.