Eukaryotic cells developed diverse mechanisms to guide proteins to more than one destination within the cell. Recently, the proteome of the IMS (intermembrane space) of mitochondria of yeast cells was identified showing that approximately 20% of all soluble IMS proteins are dually localized to the IMS, as well as to other cellular compartments. Half of these dually localized proteins are important for oxidative stress defence and the other half are involved in energy homoeostasis. In the present review, we discuss the mechanisms leading to the dual localization of IMS proteins and the implications for mitochondrial function.

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