Eukaryotes contain two protein translational systems, one in the cytoplasm and one in the mitochondria. Mitochondrial translation is crucial for maintaining mitochondrial function and mutations in this system lead to a breakdown in the respiratory chain-oxidative phosphorylation system and to impaired maintenance of mitochondrial DNA. This gene encodes one of the mitochondrial translation elongation factors, which is a GTPase that plays a role at the termination of mitochondrial translation by mediating the disassembly of ribosomes from messenger RNA . Its role in the regulation of normal mitochondrial function and in disease states attributed to mitochondrial dysfunction is not known. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms.