The essential, conserved yeast nucleolar protein Ytm1 is one of 17 proteins in ribosome assembly intermediates that contain WD40 protein-protein interaction motifs. Such proteins may play key roles in organizing other molecules necessary for ribosome biogenesis. Ytm1 is present in four consecutive 66S preribosomes containing 27SA2, 27SA3, 27SB, and 25.5S plus 7S pre-rRNAs plus ribosome assembly factors and ribosomal proteins. Ytm1 binds directly to Erb1 and is present in a heterotrimeric subcomplex together with Erb1 and Nop7, both within preribosomes and independently of preribosomes. However, Nop7 and Erb1 assemble into preribosomes prior to Ytm1. Mutations in the WD40 motifs of Ytm1 disrupt binding to Erb1, destabilize the heterotrimer, and delay pre-rRNA processing and nuclear export of preribosomes. Nevertheless, 66S preribosomes lacking Ytm1 remain otherwise intact.
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