Yeast NSR1 protein is structurally related to mammalian nucleolin and is involved in ribosome synthesis as described in the preceding paper (Kondo, K., and Inouye, M. (1992) J. Biol. Chem. 267, 16252-16258). We report here the regulation of NSR1 gene expression and the effect of nsr1 deletion on growth and pre-rRNA processing after cold shock. A basal level of the transcript was detected at 30 degrees C only in exponentially growing cells and increased approximately 3-fold after cold shock to 10 degrees C. NSR1 protein level also increased about 3-fold after the shock. The nsr1 deletion caused a severe growth defect at low temperatures as well as a long growth lag after temperature shift from 30 to 10 degrees C. Northern hybridization analysis demonstrated that cold shock led to a rapid decrease in the amounts of 27 S, 20 S, and 7 S rRNA precursors in the nsr1 strain, although at 30 degrees C a major defect was observed only in 20 S pre-rRNA synthesis. Pulse-chase labeling of rRNA showed that pre-rRNA processing in the nsr1 strain was greatly impaired after cold shock. These results demonstrate that the NSR1 protein is required for normal pre-rRNA processing and cell growth in yeast when cells are exposed to abrupt temperature drop.