bims-resufa Biomed News
on Respiratory supercomplex factors
Issue of 2021‒04‒11
one paper selected by
Vera Strogolova
Strong Microbials, Inc

  1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Mar 16. pii: e2021157118. [Epub ahead of print]118(11):
      Energy conversion in aerobic organisms involves an electron current from low-potential donors, such as NADH and succinate, to dioxygen through the membrane-bound respiratory chain. Electron transfer is coupled to transmembrane proton transport, which maintains the electrochemical proton gradient used to produce ATP and drive other cellular processes. Electrons are transferred from respiratory complexes III to IV (CIII and CIV) by water-soluble cytochrome (cyt.) c In Saccharomyces cerevisiae and some other organisms, these complexes assemble into larger CIII2CIV1/2 supercomplexes, the functional significance of which has remained enigmatic. In this work, we measured the kinetics of the S. cerevisiae supercomplex cyt. c-mediated QH2:O2 oxidoreductase activity under various conditions. The data indicate that the electronic link between CIII and CIV is confined to the surface of the supercomplex. Single-particle electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) structures of the supercomplex with cyt. c show the positively charged cyt. c bound to either CIII or CIV or along a continuum of intermediate positions. Collectively, the structural and kinetic data indicate that cyt. c travels along a negatively charged patch on the supercomplex surface. Thus, rather than enhancing electron transfer rates by decreasing the distance that cyt. c must diffuse in three dimensions, formation of the CIII2CIV1/2 supercomplex facilitates electron transfer by two-dimensional (2D) diffusion of cyt. c This mechanism enables the CIII2CIV1/2 supercomplex to increase QH2:O2 oxidoreductase activity and suggests a possible regulatory role for supercomplex formation in the respiratory chain.
    Keywords:  bioenergetics; cytochrome bc1; cytochrome c oxidase; electron transfer; mitochondria