The signal recognition particle (SRP) is required for co-translational targeting of polypeptides to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Once at the membrane, the precursor interacts with a complex proteinaceous machinery that mediates its translocation across the bilayer. Genetic studies in yeast have identified a number of genes whose products are involved in this complex process. These mutants offer a potentially valuable resource with which to analyze the biochemical role played by each component in the pathway. However, such analyses have been hampered by the failure to reconstitute an efficient in vitro assay for SRP-dependent translocation. We report the construction of two multicopy vectors that allow overexpression of all seven gene products required to make SRP in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The overexpressed subunits assemble into intact and functional SRP particles, and we further demonstrate that in vitro reconstitution of co-translational translocation is greatly enhanced using cytosol from the overexpression strain. We use this assay to demonstrate that Sec63p is required for co-translational translocation in vitro and specifically identify the "J-domain" of Sec63p as crucial for this pathway.