Ribosome biogenesis requires >100 nonribosomal proteins, which are associated with different preribosomal particles. The substrates, the interacting partners, and the timing of action of most of these proteins are largely unknown. To elucidate the functional environment of the putative ATP-dependent RNA helicase Dbp6p from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is required for 60S ribosomal subunit assembly, we have previously performed a synthetic lethal screen and thereby revealed a genetic interaction network between Dbp6p, Rpl3p, Nop8p, and the novel Rsa3p. In this report, we extended the characterization of this functional network by performing a synthetic lethal screen with the rsa3 null allele. This screen identified the so far uncharacterized Npa1p (YKL014C). Polysome profile analysis indicates that there is a deficit of 60S ribosomal subunits and an accumulation of halfmer polysomes in the slowly growing npa1-1 mutant. Northern blotting and primer extension analysis shows that the npa1-1 mutation negatively affects processing of all 27S pre-rRNAs and the normal accumulation of both mature 25S and 5.8S rRNAs. In addition, 27SA(2) pre-rRNA is prematurely cleaved at site C(2). Moreover, GFP-tagged Npa1p localizes predominantly to the nucleolus and sediments with large complexes in sucrose gradients, which most likely correspond to pre-60S ribosomal particles. We conclude that Npa1p is required for ribosome biogenesis and operates in the same functional environment of Rsa3p and Dbp6p during early maturation of 60S ribosomal subunits.