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For a proof of concept, I've made a couple of years ago a "gateway" which was launching a local IMAP server in my XMPP client. This way you could use any MUA you like while taking profit of XMPP infrastructure (JID — XMPP identifier — are similar to email addresses) and its encryption (OMEMO can be used with that for instance). In other words, you could send messages from Thunderbird (or Gajim) to KMail by using only XMPP protocol (and thanks to IMAP Push, you got notifications immediately).

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