by Joshua J. Black, Richa Sardana, Ezzeddine W. Elmir, Arlen W. Johnson
The first metastable assembly intermediate of the eukaryotic ribosomal small subunit (SSU) is the SSU Processome, a large complex of RNA and protein factors that is thought to represent an early checkpoint in the assembly pathway. Transition of the SSU Processome towards continued maturation requires the removal of the U3 snoRNA and biogenesis factors as well as ribosomal RNA processing. While the factors that drive these events are largely known, how they do so is not. The methyltransferase Bud23 has a role during this transition, but its function, beyond the nonessential methylation of ribosomal RNA, is not characterized. Here, we have carried out a comprehensive genetic screen to understand Bud23 function. We identified 67 unique extragenic bud23Δ-suppressing mutations that mapped to genes encoding the SSU Processome factors DHR1, IMP4, UTP2 (NOP14), BMS1 and the SSU protein RPS28A. These factors form a physical interaction network that links the binding site of Bud23 to the U3 snoRNA and many of the amino acid substitutions weaken protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions. Importantly, this network links Bud23 to the essential GTPase Bms1, which acts late in the disassembly pathway, and the RNA helicase Dhr1, which catalyzes U3 snoRNA removal. Moreover, particles isolated from cells lacking Bud23 accumulated late SSU Processome factors and ribosomal RNA processing defects. We propose a model in which Bud23 dissociates factors surrounding its binding site to promote SSU Processome progression.