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Mitochondrion. 2015 Sep;24:64-76. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2015.07.002. Epub 2015 Jul 17.

The subunit composition and function of mammalian cytochrome c oxidase.

Author information

1
Fachbereich Chemie, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany. Electronic address: kadenbach@staff.uni-marburg.de.
2
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.

Abstract

Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) from mammals and birds is composed of 13 subunits. The three catalytic subunits I-III are encoded by mitochondrial DNA, the ten nuclear-coded subunits (IV, Va, Vb, VIa, VIb, VIc, VIIa, VIIb, VIIc, VIII) by nuclear DNA. The nuclear-coded subunits are essentially involved in the regulation of oxygen consumption and proton translocation by COX, since their removal or modification changes the activity and their mutation causes mitochondrial diseases. Respiration, the basis for ATP synthesis in mitochondria, is differently regulated in organs and species by expression of tissue-, developmental-, and species-specific isoforms for COX subunits IV, VIa, VIb, VIIa, VIIb, and VIII, but the holoenzyme in mammals is always composed of 13 subunits. Various proteins and enzymes were shown, e.g., by co-immunoprecipitation, to bind to specific COX subunits and modify its activity, but these interactions are reversible, in contrast to the tightly bound 13 subunits. In addition, the formation of supercomplexes with other oxidative phosphorylation complexes has been shown to be largely variable. The regulatory complexity of COX is increased by protein phosphorylation. Up to now 18 phosphorylation sites have been identified under in vivo conditions in mammals. However, only for a few phosphorylation sites and four nuclear-coded subunits could a specific function be identified. Research on the signaling pathways leading to specific COX phosphorylations remains a great challenge for understanding the regulation of respiration and ATP synthesis in mammalian organisms. This article reviews the function of the individual COX subunits and their isoforms, as well as proteins and small molecules interacting and regulating the enzyme.

KEYWORDS:

Cytochrome c oxidase; Disease; Subunit composition; Subunit function

PMID:
26190566
DOI:
10.1016/j.mito.2015.07.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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