Mammalian pentatricopeptide repeat domain (PPR) proteins are involved in regulation of mitochondrial RNA metabolism and translation and are required for mitochondrial function. We investigated an uncharacterised PPR protein, the supernumerary mitochondrial ribosomal protein of the small subunit 27 (MRPS27), and show that it associates with the 12S rRNA and tRNAGlu, however it does not affect their abundance. We found that MRPS27 is not required for mitochondrial RNA processing or the stability of the small ribosomal subunit. However, MRPS27 is required for mitochondrial protein synthesis and its knockdown causes decreased abundance in respiratory complexes and cytochrome c oxidase activity. Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.