A third of the yeast mitochondrial proteome is dual localized: A question of evolution

Reut Ben-Menachem, Merav Tal, Tanya Shadur, Ophry Pines*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


There are a growing number of examples of identical or almost identical proteins, which are localized to two (or more) separate compartments, a phenomenon that is termed protein dual localization, dual distribution or dual targeting. We previously divided a reference set of known yeast mitochondrial proteins into two groups, suggested to be dual localized or exclusive mitochondrial proteins. Here we examined this evaluation by screening 320 mitochondrial gene products for dual targeting, using the α-complementation assay. The analysis of the results of this experimentally independent screen supports our previous evaluation that dual localized mitochondrial proteins constitute a subgroup of mitochondrial proteins with distinctive properties. These proteins are characterized by a lower probability of mitochondrial localization (MitoProtII score), a lower net charge and are enriched for proteins with a weaker mitochondrial targeting sequence. Conversely, mRNAs of exclusive mitochondrial proteins are enriched in polysomes associated with mitochondria. Based on the discovery of more than 60 new gene products that are now assumed to be dual targeted, we have updated an annotation list of dual-targeted proteins. We currently estimate that more than a third of the mitochondrial proteome is dual targeted, and suggest that this abundant dual targeting presents an evolutionary advantage.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4468-4476
Number of pages9
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Cell biology
  • Dual targeting
  • Evolution
  • Mitochondria
  • Protein net charge
  • Targeting sequences


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