Biogenesis of the cytochrome bc(1) complex and role of assembly factors

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Feb;1817(2):276-86. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2011.11.009. Epub 2011 Nov 22.


The cytochrome bc(1) complex is an essential component of the electron transport chain in most prokaryotes and in eukaryotic mitochondria. The catalytic subunits of the complex that are responsible for its redox functions are largely conserved across kingdoms. In eukarya, the bc(1) complex contains supernumerary subunits in addition to the catalytic core, and the biogenesis of the functional bc(1) complex occurs as a modular assembly pathway. Individual steps of this biogenesis have been recently investigated and are discussed in this review with an emphasis on the assembly of the bc(1) complex in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Additionally, a number of assembly factors have been recently identified. Their roles in bc(1) complex biogenesis are described, with special emphasis on the maturation and topogenesis of the yeast Rieske iron-sulfur protein and its role in completing the assembly of functional bc(1) complex. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Biogenesis/Assembly of Respiratory Enzyme Complexes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electron Transport Complex III / biosynthesis*
  • Electron Transport Complex III / chemistry
  • Electron Transport Complex III / metabolism*
  • Electron Transport Complex III / physiology
  • Eukaryotic Cells / metabolism
  • Eukaryotic Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Molecular
  • Prokaryotic Cells / metabolism
  • Prokaryotic Cells / physiology
  • Protein Multimerization / physiology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / chemistry
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / physiology


  • Rieske iron-sulfur protein
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Electron Transport Complex III