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Volume 2 (2008), Issue 3, Pages 151-158
Research Article

A bifunctional archaeal protein that is a component of 30S ribosomal subunits and interacts with C/D box small RNAs

1Dpt. Biotecnologie Cellulari ed Ematologia, Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (Policlinico) Viale Regina Elena 324, 00161 Rome, Italy
2Dpt. Biochimica, Biologia e Fisica Medica (DIBIFIM), Università degli Studi di Bari (Policlinico) Piazza Giulio Cesare, 70124 Bari, Italy

Received 7 March 2007; Accepted 22 May 2007

Copyright © 2007 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We have identified a novel archaeal protein that apparently plays two distinct roles in ribosome metabolism. It is a polypeptide of about 18 kDa (termed Rbp18) that binds free cytosolic C/D box sRNAs in vivo and in vitro and behaves as a structural ribosomal protein, specifically a component of the 30S ribosomal subunit. As Rbp18 is selectively present in Crenarcheota and highly thermophilic Euryarchaeota, we propose that it serves to protect C/D box sRNAs from degradation and perhaps to stabilize thermophilic 30S subunits.