The mitochondrial inner membrane forms internal compartments known as cristae, which allow greater space for the proteins such as cytochromes to function properly and efficiently. The electron transport chain is located on the inner membrane of the mitochondria. Within the inner mitochondrial membrane are also transport proteins that transport in a highly controlled manner metabolites across this membrane.
The inner membrane of mitochondria (IMM) is similar in lipid composition to the membrane of bacteria. This phenomenon can be explained by the endosymbiont hypothesis of the origin of mitochondria as prokaryotes internalized by a eukaryotic host cell.