Single translation-dual destination: Mechanisms of dual protein targeting in eukaryotes

Sharon Karniely, Ophry Pines*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


It is well documented that single eukaryotic genes can give rise to proteins that are localized to several subcellular locations. This is achieved at the level of transcription, splicing and translation, and results in two or more translation products that either harbour or lack specific targeting signals. Nevertheless, the possibility of dual targeting of a single translation product has recently emerged. Here, we review cases of such dual targeting with emphasis on the mechanisms through which these phenomena occur. Proteins that harbour one signal, two separate signals or an overlapping ambiguous signal may follow dual distribution in the cell. The mechanism of dual targeting is driven by the competition or promiscuity of various molecular events. Protein folding, post-translational modification and protein-protein interaction are key players in this phenomenon.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)420-425
Number of pages6
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Dual targeting
  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane translocation
  • Signal peptides
  • Subcellular distribution


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