Cytochrome c Oxidase Subassemblies in Fibroblast Cultures from Patients Carrying Mutations in COX10, SCO1, or SURF1

Siôn L. Williams, Isabelle Valnot, Pierre Rustin, Jan Willem Taanman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Cytochrome c oxidase contains two redox-active copper centers (Cu A and CuB) and two redox-active heme A moieties. Assembly of the enzyme relies on several assembly factors in addition to the constituent subunits and prosthetic groups. We studied fibroblast cultures from patients carrying mutations in the assembly factors COX10, SCO1, or SURF1. COX10 is involved in heme A biosynthesis. SCO1 is required for formation of the Cu A center. The function of SURF1 is unknown. Immunoblot analysis of native gels demonstrated severely decreased levels of holoenzyme in the patient cultures compared with controls. In addition, the blots revealed the presence of five subassemblies: three subassemblies involving the core subunit MTCO1 but apparently no other subunits; a subassembly containing subunits MTCO1, COX4, and COX5A; and a subassembly containing at least subunits MTCO1, MTCO2, MTCO3, COX4, and COX5A. As some of the subassemblies correspond to known assembly intermediates of human cytochrome c oxidase, we think that these subassemblies are probably assembly intermediates that accumulate in patient cells. The MTCO1-COX4-COX5A subassembly was not detected in COX10-deficient cells, which suggests that heme A incorporation into MMO1 occurs prior to association of MTCO1 with COX4 and COX5A. SCO1-deficient cells contained accumulated levels of the MTCO1-COX4-COX5A subassembly, suggesting that MTCO2 associates with the MTCO1-COX4-COX5A subassembly after the CuA center of MTCO2 is formed. Assembly in SURF1-deficient cells appears to stall at the same stage as in SCO1-deficient cells, pointing to a role for SURF1 in promoting the association of MTCO2 with the MTCO1-COX4.COX5A subassembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7462-7469
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Feb 27 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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