Supercomplex Assembly Determines Electron Flux in the Mitochondrial Electron Transport Chain

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Science  28 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6140, pp. 1567-1570
DOI: 10.1126/science.1230381

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Respiration Refined

Cells derive energy from redox reactions mediated by mitochondrial enzymes that form the electron transport chain. The enzymes can form large complexes, known as supercomplexes, whose function has been controversial. Lapuente-Brun et al. (p. 1567) discovered that a mouse protein, supercomplex assembly factor I (SCAFI), specifically modulates assembly of respiratory complexes into supercomplexes. Formation of the supercomplexes appears to cause electrons to be processed differently, depending on the substrate from which they are derived.