The process of eukaryotic ribosome assembly stretches across the nucleolus, the nucleoplasm and the cytoplasm, and therefore relies on efficient nucleocytoplasmic transport. In yeast, the import machinery delivers ~140,000 ribosomal proteins every minute to the nucleus for ribosome assembly. At the same time, the export machinery facilitates translocation of ~2000 pre-ribosomal particles every minute through ~200 nuclear pore complexes (NPC) into the cytoplasm. Eukaryotic ribosome assembly also requires >200 conserved assembly factors, which transiently associate with pre-ribosomal particles. Their site(s) of action on maturing pre-ribosomes are beginning to be elucidated. In this chapter, we outline protocols that enable rapid biochemical isolation of pre-ribosomal particles for single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and in vitro reconstitution of nuclear transport processes. We discuss cell-biological and genetic approaches to investigate how the ribosome assembly and the nucleocytoplasmic transport machineries collaborate to produce functional ribosomes.
Keywords: Budding Yeast; Nuclear Export; Nuclear Import; Ribosome Assembly; preribosome structure.