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Ribosome biogenesis is an essential process for cell growth and proliferation and is enhanced in cancer and embryonic stem cells. Mouse Ly-1 antibody reactive clone product (Lyar) is expressed at very high levels in many tumor, leukemia or embryonic stem cells; is a novel nucleolar protein with zinc-finger DNA-binding motifs and is involved in cell growth regulation. However, cellular function of Lyar remains unexplored. Here, we show that human homologue of Lyar (LYAR) accelerates ribosome biogenesis at the level of processing of preribosomal RNA (pre-rRNA). We show that LYAR is excluded from the nucleolus after actinomycin D treatment and is present in preribosomal fraction of the nuclear extract as well as in the fractions with 40S, 60S and 90S sedimentation coefficients. LYAR is required for processing of 47S/45S, 32S, 30S and 21S pre-rRNAs. In addition, we show that over-expression of LYAR increases cell proliferation without affecting the expression of c-Myc or p53. Combined, these results suggest that some rapidly growing cells enhance ribosome biogenesis by increasing the expression of LYAR.