The biogenesis of transfer RNA is a process that requires many different factors. In this study, we describe a genetic screen aimed to identify gene products participating in this process. By screening for mutations lethal in combination with a sup61-T47:2C allele, coding for a mutant form of, the nonessential TAN1 gene was identified. We show that the TAN1 gene product is required for formation of the modified nucleoside N(4)-acetylcytidine (ac(4)C) in tRNA. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, ac(4)C is present at position 12 in tRNAs specific for leucine and serine as well as in 18S ribosomal RNA. Analysis of RNA isolated from a tan1-null mutant revealed that ac(4)C was absent in tRNA, but not rRNA. Although no tRNA acetyltransferase activity by a GST-Tan1 fusion protein was detected, a gel-shift assay revealed that Tan1p binds tRNA, suggesting a direct role in synthesis of ac(4)C(12). The absence of the TAN1 gene in the sup61-T47:2C mutant caused a decreased level of mature, indicating that ac(4)C(12) and/or Tan1p is important for tRNA stability.