Research Article

An electron transfer path connects subunits of a mycobacterial respiratory supercomplex

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Science  30 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6418, eaat8923
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat8923

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An electron bridge in place of a ferry

Respiratory complexes are massive, membrane-embedded scaffolds that position redox cofactors so as to permit electron transfer coupled to the movement of protons across a membrane. Gong et al. used cryo–electron microscopy to determine a structure of a stable assembly of mycobacterial complex III–IV, in which a complex III dimer is sandwiched between two complex IV monomers. A potential direct electron transfer path stretches from the quinone oxidizing centers in complex III to the oxygen reduction centers in complex IV. A loosely associated superoxide dismutase may play a role in detoxifying superoxide produced from uncoupled oxygen reduction.

Science, this issue p. eaat8923