PerspectiveStructural Biology

Secret Life of Cytochrome bc1

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Science  03 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5373, pp. 58-59
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5373.58

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Several enormous protein complexes in the inner mitochondrial membrane provide power for the cell--and for all of life. In her Perspective, Smith outlines recent progress in understanding the structure of one of these, cytochrome bc, including a research article in this issue by Iwata et al. The new structures allow unexpected inferences about how these essential proteins work.