Recent investigations by native gel electrophoresis showed the existence of supramolecular associations of the respiratory complexes, confirmed by electron microscopy analysis and single particle image processing. Flux control analysis demonstrated that Complex I and Complex III in mammalian mitochondria kinetically behave as a single unit with control coefficients approaching unity for each component, suggesting the existence of substrate channeling within the supercomplex. The formation of this supramolecular unit largely depends on the lipid content and composition of the inner mitochondrial membrane. The function of the super-complexes appears not to be restricted to kinetic advantages in electron transfer: we discuss evidence on their role in the stability and assembly of the individual complexes, particularly Complex I, and in preventing excess oxygen radical formation. There is increasing evidence that disruption of the super-complex organization leads to functional derangements responsible for pathological changes, as we have found in K-ras-transformed fibroblasts. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1797 (2010) 633–640
Mitochondrial respiratory chain supercomplex I-III in physiology and pathology / Giorgio Lenaz; Alessandra Baracca; Giovanna Barbero; Christian Bergamini; Maria Elena Dalmonte; Marianna Del Sole; Marco Faccioli; Anna Falasca; Romana Fato; Maria Luisa Genova; Gianluca Sgarbi; Giancarlo Solaini. - In: BIOCHIMICA ET BIOPHYSICA ACTA-BIOENERGETICS. - ISSN 0005-2728. - 1797(2010), pp. 633-640.