The small subunit ribosomal protein uS3 is a critically important player in the ribosome-mRNA interactions during translation and has numerous functions not directly related to protein synthesis in eukaryotes. A peculiar feature of the human uS3 protein is the ability of its fragment 55–64 exposed on the 40S subunit surface near the mRNA entry channel to form cross-links with 3′-terminal dialdehyde derivatives of various unstructured RNAs and with abasic sites in single-stranded DNAs. Here we showed that the ability of the above uS3 fragment to cross-link to abasic sites in DNAs is inherent only in mature cytoplasmic 40S subunits, but not nuclear pre-40S particles, which implies that it may be relevant to the ribosome-mRNA interplay. To clarify this issue, we investigated interactions of human ribosomes with synthetic mRNA analogues bearing an abasic site protected by a photocleavable group at the 3′-termini. We found that these mRNA analogues can form specific complexes with 80S ribosomes and 40S subunits, where the undamaged upstream part of the analogue is fixed in the mRNA binding channel by interaction with the P-site tRNA, and the downstream part located outside the ribosome is cross-linked to the uS3 fragment 55–64. The yield of cross-links of the mRNA analogues was rather high when their undamaged parts were bound to the mRNA channel prior to deprotection of the abasic site enabling its covalent attachment to the 40S subunit via the uS3 protein, but not vice versa. Based on our findings, one can assume that abasic sites, which can occur in mRNAs due to oxidative stress and ageing, are able to interact directly with the uS3 fragment exposed on the 40S subunit surface near the mRNA entry channel during translation. Consequently, the 40S subunit can be considered as a potential mRNA quality controller.