bims-resufa Biomed News
on Respiratory supercomplex factors
Issue of 2020‒05‒17
one paper selected by
Vera Strogolova
Strong Microbials, Inc


  1. J Exp Biol. 2020 May 11. pii: jeb.223776. [Epub ahead of print]
    Bundgaard A, James AM, Harbour ME, Murphy MP, Fago A.
      The association of complex I (CI), complex III (CIII) and complex IV (CIV) of the mitochondrial electron transport chain into stable high-molecular weight supercomplexes (SCs) has been observed in several prokaryotes and eukaryotes, but among vertebrates it has only been examined in mammals. The biological role of these SCs is unclear but suggestions so far include enhanced electron transfer between complexes, decreased production of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) O2 ·- and H2O2, or enhanced structural stability. Here, we provide the first overview on the stability, composition and activity of mitochondrial SCs in representative species of several vertebrate classes to determine patterns of SC variation across endotherms and ectotherms. We found that the stability of the CICIII2 SC and the inclusion of CIV within SC varied considerably. Specifically, when solubilized by the detergent DDM, mitochondrial CICIII2 SCs were unstable in endotherms (birds and mammals) and highly stable in reptiles. Using mass-spectrometric complexomics, we confirmed that the CICIII2 is the major SC in the turtle, and that 90% of CI is found in this highly stable SC. Interestingly, the presence of stable SCs did not prevent mitochondrial H2O2 production and was not associated with elevated respiration rates of mitochondria isolated from the examined species. Together, these data show that SC stability varies among vertebrates and is greatest in poikilothermic reptiles and weakest in endotherms. This pattern suggests an adaptive role of SCs to varying body temperature, but not necessarily a direct effect on electron transfer or in the prevention of ROS production.
    Keywords:  Bioenergetics; Complexomics; Mass spectrometry; Mitochondria; Oxidative phosphorylation; Reactive oxygen species
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.223776