Eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis requires many protein factors that facilitate the assembly, nuclear export and final maturation of 40S and 60S particles. We have biochemically characterized ribosomal complexes of the yeast 60S-biogenesis factor Arx1 and late-maturation factors Rei1 and Jjj1 and determined their cryo-EM structures. Arx1 was visualized bound to the 60S subunit together with Rei1, at 8.1-Å resolution, to reveal the molecular details of Arx1 binding whereby Arx1 arrests the eukaryotic-specific rRNA expansion segment 27 near the polypeptide tunnel exit. Rei1 and Jjj1, which have been implicated in Arx1 recycling, bind in the vicinity of Arx1 and form a network of interactions. We suggest that, in addition to the role of Arx1 during pre-60S nuclear export, the binding of Arx1 conformationally locks the pre-60S subunit and inhibits the premature association of nascent chain-processing factors to the polypeptide tunnel exit.
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