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To explore the regulatory elements that maintain the balanced synthesis of the components of the ribosome, we isolated a temperature-sensitive (ts) mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in which transcription both of rRNA and of ribosomal protein genes is defective at the nonpermissive temperature. Temperature sensitivity for growth is recessive and segregates 2:2. A gene that complements the ts phenotype was cloned from a genomic DNA library. Sequence analysis revealed that this gene is SLY1, encoding a protein essential for protein and vesicle transport between the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi apparatus. In the strain carrying our ts allele of SLY1, accumulation of the carboxypeptidase Y precursor was detected at the nonpermissive temperature, indicating that the secretory pathway is defective. To ask whether the effect of the ts allele on ribosome synthesis was specific for sly1 or was a general result of the inactivation of the secretion pathway, we assayed the levels of mRNA for several ribosomal proteins in cells carrying ts alleles of sec1, sec7, sec11, sec14, sec18, sec53, or sec63, representing all stages of secretion. In each case, the mRNA levels were severely depressed, suggesting that this is a common feature in mutants of protein secretion. For the mutants tested, transcription of rRNA was also substantially reduced. Furthermore, treatment of a sensitive strain with brefeldin A at a concentration sufficient to block the secretion pathway also led to a decrease of the level of ribosomal protein mRNA, with kinetics suggesting that the effect of a secretion defect is manifest within 15 to 30 min. We conclude that the continued function of the entire secretion pathway is essential for the maintenance of ribosome synthesis. The apparent coupling of membrane synthesis and ribosome synthesis suggest the existence of a regulatory network that connects the production of the various structural elements of the cell.