Supercomplex formation boosts respiration

EMBO Rep. 2020 Dec 3;21(12):e51830. doi: 10.15252/embr.202051830. Epub 2020 Dec 3.


Mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes associate in supercomplexes, but the physiological role of these assemblies remains controversial. Recent studies in EMBO Reports reveal that supercomplexes promote metabolic fitness. Berndtsson et al (2020) demonstrate that supercomplex formation enhances electron transport by reducing the distance for diffusion of cytochrome c between cytochrome bc1 complex and cytochrome c oxidase and thereby increases competitive fitness in yeast. Similarly, Garcia-Poyatos et al (2020) report that zebrafish lacking the supercomplex assembly factor SCAF1 display a reduced growth and decreased female fertility.

Publication types

  • News
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / genetics
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism
  • Respiration
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins* / metabolism
  • Zebrafish* / metabolism


  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Electron Transport Complex IV