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IUBMB Life. 2001 Sep-Nov;52(3-5):119-28.

Respiratory chain supercomplexes.

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Zentrum der Biologischen Chemie, Universitätsklinikum Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


Respiratory chain supercomplexes have been isolated from mammalian and yeast mitochondria, and bacterial membranes. Functional roles of respiratory chain supercomplexes are catalytic enhancement, substrate channelling, and stabilization of complex I by complex III in mammalian cells. Bacterial supercomplexes are characterized by their relatively high detergent-stability compared to yeast or mammalian supercomplexes that are stable to sonication. The mobility of substrate cytochrome c increases in the order bacterial, yeast, and mammalian respiratory chain. In bacterial supercomplexes, the electron transfer between complexes III and IV involves movement of the mobile head of a tightly bound cytochrome c, whereas the yeast S. cerevisiae seems to use substrate channelling of a mobile cytochrome c, and mammalian respiratory chains have been described to use a cytochrome c pool. Dimeric ATP synthase seems to be specific for mitochondrial OXPHOS systems. Monomeric complex V was found in Acetobacterium woodii and Paracoccus denitrificans.

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