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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 28, 2013

A critical appraisal of the role of respiratory supercomplexes in mitochondria

Maria Luisa Genova and Giorgio Lenaz
From the journal Biological Chemistry


Substantial evidence exists that the mitochondrial respiratory chain is organized in supramolecular units called supercomplexes or respirasomes. While the structural evidence of the supercomplexes is overwhelming, fewer studies have focused on their functional relevance. Although the presence of coenzyme Q channeling between complexes I and III has been ascertained, no such clear demonstration has been carried out for cytochrome c between complexes III and IV, at least in mammalian mitochondria. This review also discusses the implications concerning the number of respiratory complexes organized in supercomplexes and the possibility that they represent associations in dynamic equilibrium with the individual complexes.

Corresponding author: Maria Luisa Genova, Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, Laboratory of Mitochondrial Medicine, University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 48, I-40126 Bologna, Italy

Received: 2012-11-5
Accepted: 2013-2-22
Published Online: 2013-02-28
Published in Print: 2013-05-01

©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

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