Small nucleolar ribonucleoprotein particles (snoRNPs) mainly catalyze the modification of rRNA. The two major classes of snoRNPs, box H/ACA and box C/D, function in the pseudouridylation and 2'-O-methylation, respectively, of specific nucleotides. The emerging view based on studies in yeast is that each class of snoRNPs is composed of a unique set of proteins. Here we present a characterization of mammalian snoRNPs. We show that the previously characterized NAP57 is specific for box H/ACA snoRNPs, whereas the newly identified NAP65, the rat homologue of yeast Nop5/58p, is a component of the box C/D class. Using coimmunoprecipitation experiments, we show that the nucleolar and coiled-body protein Nopp140 interacts with both classes of snoRNPs. This interaction is corroborated in vivo by the exclusive depletion of snoRNP proteins from nucleoli in cells transfected with a dominant negative Nopp140 construct. Interestingly, RNA polymerase I transcription is arrested in nucleoli depleted of snoRNPs, raising the possibility of a feedback mechanism between rRNA modification and transcription. Moreover, the Nopp140-snoRNP interaction appears to be conserved in yeast, because depletion of Srp40p, the yeast Nopp140 homologue, in a conditional lethal strain induces the loss of box H/ACA small nucleolar RNAs. We propose that Nopp140 functions as a chaperone of snoRNPs in yeast and vertebrate cells.