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This is a conserved region of approx. 125 residues of one of the proteins that makes up the small subunit of the mitochondrial ribosome. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae the protein is MRP-S24 whereas in humans it is MRP-S28. The human mitochondrial ribosome has 29 distinct proteins in the small subunit and these have homologues in, for example, Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, and in the genomes of several fungi .
Ribosomes are the particles that catalyse mRNA-directed protein synthesis in all organisms. The codons of the mRNA are exposed on the ribosome to allow tRNA binding. This leads to the incorporation of amino acids into the growing polypeptide chain in accordance with the genetic information. Incoming amino acid monomers enter the ribosomal A site in the form of aminoacyl-tRNAs complexed with elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) and GTP. The growing polypeptide chain, situated in the P site as peptidyl-tRNA, is then transferred to aminoacyl-tRNA and the new peptidyl-tRNA, extended by one residue, is translocated to the P site with the aid the elongation factor G (EF-G) and GTP as the deacylated tRNA is released from the ribosome through one or more exit sites [PUBMED:11297922, PUBMED:11290319]. About 2/3 of the mass of the ribosome consists of RNA and 1/3 of protein. The proteins are named in accordance with the subunit of the ribosome which they belong to - the small (S1 to S31) and the large (L1 to L44). Usually they decorate the rRNA cores of the subunits.