The Saccharomyces cerevisiae open reading frame YDL202w has been characterised in the course of the EUROFAN yeast genome analysis program. Disruption of YDL202w causes a respiratory deficient phenotype accompanied by a loss of mitochondrial DNA. This phenotype is usually found in mutants defective in mitochondrial replication or gene expression. YDL202w has the potential to encode a soluble protein of 249 amino acids. It shows significant similarities to the ribosomal protein L10 from various bacteria and to a previously determined amino-terminal peptide sequence of the yeast mitochondrial ribosomal protein L11. The predicted amino-acid sequence of YDL202w starts with a stretch which has neither any correspondence in the bacterial sequences nor in the protein isolated from mitochondrial ribosomes. Furthermore, this stretch matches the requirements for a signal sequence for mitochondrial protein import. A mitochondrial location of the YDL202w gene product was proven by use of a carboxy terminally HA-tagged version. These findings clearly indicate that YDL202w encodes this mitochondrial ribosomal protein (YmL11).