A strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, defective in small subunit ribosomal RNA processing, has a mutation in YOR145c ORF that converts Gly235 to Asp. Yor145c is a nucleolar protein required for cell viability and has been reported recently to be present in 90S pre-ribosomal particles. The Gly235Asp mutation in YOR145c is found in a KH-type RNA-binding domain and causes a marked deficiency in 18S rRNA production. Detailed studies by northern blotting and primer extension analyses show that the mutant strain impairs the early pre-rRNA processing cleavage essentially at sites A1 and A2, leading to accumulation of a 22S dead-end processing product that is found in only a few rRNA processing mutants. Furthermore, U3, U14, snR10 and snR30 snoRNAs, involved in early pre-rRNA cleavages, are not destabilized by the YOR145c mutation. As the protein encoded by YOR145c is found in pre-ribosomal particles and the mutant strain is defective in ribosomal RNA processing, we have renamed it as RRP20.