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The carboxy-terminal extension of yeast ribosomal protein S14 is necessary for maturation of 43S preribosomes.
Eukaryotic ribosomal proteins are required for production of stable ribosome assembly intermediates and mature ribosomes, but more specific roles for these proteins in biogenesis of ribosomes are not known. Here we demonstrate a particular function for yeast ribosomal protein rpS14 in late steps of 40S ribosomal subunit maturation and pre-rRNA processing. Extraordinary amounts of 43S preribosomes containing 20S pre-rRNA accumulate in the cytoplasm of certain rps14 mutants. These mutations not only reveal a more precise function for rpS14 in ribosome biogenesis but also uncover a role in ribosome assembly for the extended tails found in many ribosomal proteins. These studies are one of the first to relate the structure of eukaryotic ribosomes to their assembly pathway-the carboxy-terminal extension of rpS14 is located in the 40S subunit near the 3' end of 18S rRNA, consistent with a role for rpS14 in 3' end processing of 20S pre-rRNA.