Import of nuclear-encoded proteins into mitochondria and chloroplasts is generally organelle specific and its specificity depends on the N-terminal signal peptide. Yet, a group of proteins known as dual-targeted proteins have a targeting peptide capable of leading the mature protein to both organelles. We have investigated the domain structure of the dual-targeted pea glutathione reductase (GR) signal peptide by using N-terminal truncations. A mutant of the GR precursor (pGR) starting with the second methionine residue of the targeting peptide, pGRdelta2-4, directed import into both organelles, negating the possibility that dual import was controlled by the nature of the N terminus. The deletion of the 30 N-terminal residues (pGRdelta2-30) inhibited import efficiency into chloroplasts substantially and almost completely into mitochondria, whereas the removal of only 16 N-terminal amino acid residues (pGRdelta2-16) resulted in the strongly stimulated mitochondrial import without significantly affecting chloroplast import. Furthermore, N-terminal truncations of the signal peptide (pGRdelta2-16 and pGRdelta2-30) greatly stimulated the mitochondrial processing activity measured with the isolated processing peptidase. These results suggest a domain structure for the dual-targeting peptide of pGR and the existence of domains controlling organellar import efficiency therein.