The Pescadillo protein was identified via a developmental defect and implicated in cell cycle progression. Here we report that human Pescadillo and its yeast homolog (Yph1p or Nop7p) are localized to the nucleolus. Depletion of Nop7p leads to nuclear accumulation of pre-60S particles, indicating a defect in subunit export, and it interacts genetically with a tagged form of the ribosomal protein Rp125p, consistent with a role in subunit assembly. Two pre-rRNA processing pathways generate alternative forms of the 5.8S rRNA, designated 5-8S(L) and 5.8S(S). In cells depleted for Nop7p, the 27SA(3) pre-rRNA accumulated, whereas later processing intermediates and the mature 5.8S(S) rRNA were depleted. Less depletion was seen for the 5.8S(L) pathway. TAP-tagged Nop7p coprecipitated precursors to both 5.8S(L) and 5.8S(S) but not the mature rRNAs. We conclude that Nop7p is required for efficient exonucleolytic processing of the 27SA(3) pre-rRNA and has additional functions in 60S subunit assembly and transport. Nop7p is a component of at least three different pre-60S particles, and we propose that it carries out distinct functions in each of these complexes.
- RNA processing