An open reading frame upstream of the Methanococcus vannielii L12 gene has been detected. The beginning of this open reading frame agrees with the N-terminal region of a protein (MvaL10) which has been isolated from the 50 S ribosomal subunit of M. vannielii and sequenced. The length of this gene is 1008 nucleotides, coding for 336 amino acids. Excellent sequence similarities were found to the L10-like ribosomal proteins from Halobacterium halobium and man. The N-terminal part of the MvaL10 protein shows significant sequence similarities to the E. coli L10 protein. MvaL10 is more than twice as long as E. coli L10 but is of length similar to those of the homologous halobacterial and human proteins. Interestingly, the C-terminal region of MvaL10 shows exceptionally high similarity to the C-terminal sequence of the MvaL12 protein. This is not the case for the E. coli proteins but was also observed for the human, Halobacterium and Sulfolobus proteins.