YidC has an essential but poorly defined function in membrane protein insertion and folding in bacteria. The yidC gene is located in a gene cluster that is highly conserved in Gram-negative bacteria, the gene order being rpmH, rnpA, yidD, yidC, and trmE. Here, we show that Escherichia coli yidD, which overlaps with rnpA and is only 2 bp upstream of yidC, is expressed and localizes to the inner membrane, probably through an amphipathic helix. Inactivation of yidD had no discernible effect on cell growth and viability. However, compared to control cells, ΔyidD cells were affected in the insertion and processing of three YidC-dependent inner membrane proteins. Furthermore, in vitro cross-linking showed that YidD is in proximity of a nascent inner membrane protein during its localization in the Sec-YidC translocon, suggesting that YidD might be involved in the insertion process. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology.