Ribosomal biogenesis is responsible for protein synthesis in all eukaryotic cells. Perturbation of ribosomal biogenesis processes can cause dysfunctions of protein synthesis and varieties of human diseases. In this study, we examine the role of RPL15, a large ribosomal subunit protein, in human colon carcinogenesis. Our results reveal that RPL15 is remarkably upregulated in human primary colon cancer tissues and cultured cell lines when compared with paired non-cancerous tissues and non-transformed epithelium cells. Elevated expression of RPL15 in colon cancer tissues is closely correlated with clinicopathological characteristics in patients. We determine the effects of RPL15 on nucleolar maintenance, ribosomal biogenesis and cell proliferation in human cells. We show that RPL15 is required for maintenance of nucleolar structure and formation of pre-60S subunits in the nucleoli. Depletion of RPL15 causes ribosomal stress, resulting in a G1-G1/S cell cycle arrest in non-transformed human epithelium cells, but apoptosis in colon cancer cells. Together, these results indicate that RPL15 is involved in human colon carcinogenesis and might be a potential clinical biomarker and/or target for colon cancer therapy.