Systematic Approaches to Study Eclipsed Targeting of Proteins Uncover a New Family of Mitochondrial Proteins

Maayan Mark, Ofir Klein, Yu Zhang, Koyeli Das, Adi Elbaz, Reut Noa Hazan, Michal Lichtenstein, Norbert Lehming, Maya Schuldiner, Ophry Pines*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dual localization or dual targeting refers to the phenomenon by which identical, or almost identical, proteins are localized to two (or more) separate compartments of the cell. From previous work in the field, we had estimated that a third of the mitochondrial proteome is dual-targeted to extra-mitochondrial locations and suggested that this abundant dual targeting presents an evolutionary advantage. Here, we set out to study how many additional proteins whose main activity is outside mitochondria are also localized, albeit at low levels, to mitochondria (eclipsed). To do this, we employed two complementary approaches utilizing the α-complementation assay in yeast to uncover the extent of such an eclipsed distribution: one systematic and unbiased and the other based on mitochondrial targeting signal (MTS) predictions. Using these approaches, we suggest 280 new eclipsed distributed protein candidates. Interestingly, these proteins are enriched for distinctive properties compared to their exclusively mitochondrial-targeted counterparts. We focus on one unexpected eclipsed protein family of the Triose-phosphate DeHydrogenases (TDH) and prove that, indeed, their eclipsed distribution in mitochondria is important for mitochondrial activity. Our work provides a paradigm of deliberate eclipsed mitochondrial localization, targeting and function, and should expand our understanding of mitochondrial function in health and disease.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1550
Issue number11
StatePublished - 5 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • TDH2
  • TDH3
  • dual protein targeting
  • eclipsed protein targeting
  • mitochondria
  • yeast model system


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