Rhomboids constitute the most widespread and conserved family of intramembrane cleaving proteases. They are key regulators of critical cellular processes in bacteria and animals, and are poised to play an equally important role also in plants. Among eukaryotes, a distinct subfamily of rhomboids, prototyped by the mammalian mitochondrial protein Parl, ensures the maintenance of the structural and functional integrity of mitochondria and plastids. Here, we discuss the studies that in the past decade have unveiled the role, regulation, and structure of this unique group of rhomboid proteases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Protein Import and Quality Control in Mitochondria and Plastids.
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