QSR1 is an essential Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene, which encodes a 60S ribosomal subunit protein required for joining of 40S and 60S subunits. Truncations of QSR1 predicted to encode C-terminally truncated forms of Qsr1p do not substitute for QSR1 but do act as dominant negative mutations, inhibiting the growth of yeast when expressed from an inducible promoter. The dominant negative mutants exhibit a polysome profile characterized by 'half-mer' polysomes, indicative of a subunit joining defect like that seen in other qsr1 mutants (D. P. Eisinger, F. A. Dick, and B. L. Trumpower, Mol. Cell. Biol. 17:5136-5145, 1997.) By screening a high-copy yeast genomic library, we isolated several clones containing overlapping inserts of a novel gene that rescues the slow-growth phenotype of the dominant negative qsr1 truncations. The suppressor of qsr1 truncation mutants, SQT1, is an essential gene, which encodes a 47.1-kDa protein containing multiple WD repeats and which interacts strongly with Qsr1p in a yeast two-hybrid system. SQT1 restores growth and the "half-mer" polysome profile of the dominant negative qsr1 mutants to normal, but it does not rescue temperature-sensitive qsr1 mutants or the original qsr1-1 missense allele. In yeast cell lysates, Sqt1p fractionates as part of an oligomeric protein complex that is loosely associated with ribosomes but is distinct from known eukaryotic initiation factor complexes. Loss of SQT1 function by down regulation from an inducible promoter results in formation of half-mer polyribosomes and decreased Qsr1p levels on free 60S subunits. Sqt1p thus appears to be involved in a late step of 60S subunit assembly or modification in the cytoplasm.