HIGD-Driven Regulation of Cytochrome c Oxidase Biogenesis and Function

Alba Timón-Gómez, Emma L. Bartley-Dier, Flavia Fontanesi, Antoni Barrientos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The biogenesis and function of eukaryotic cytochrome c oxidase or mitochondrial respiratory chain complex IV (CIV) undergo several levels of regulation to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Adaptation to hypoxia and oxidative stress involves CIV subunit isoform switch, changes in phosphorylation status, and modulation of CIV assembly and enzymatic activity by interacting factors. The latter include the Hypoxia Inducible Gene Domain (HIGD) family yeast respiratory supercomplex factors 1 and 2 (Rcf1 and Rcf2) and two mammalian homologs of Rcf1, the proteins HIGD1A and HIGD2A. Whereas Rcf1 and Rcf2 are expressed constitutively, expression of HIGD1A and HIGD2A is induced under stress conditions, such as hypoxia and/or low glucose levels. In both systems, the HIGD proteins localize in the mitochondrial inner membrane and play a role in the biogenesis of CIV as a free unit or as part as respiratory supercomplexes. Notably, they remain bound to assembled CIV and, by modulating its activity, regulate cellular respiration. Here, we will describe the current knowledge regarding the specific and overlapping roles of the several HIGD proteins in physiological and stress conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 6 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • HIGD1A
  • HIGD2A
  • Hypoxia Inducible Gene Domain
  • Rcf1
  • Rcf2
  • cytochrome c oxidase
  • mitochondrial respiratory chain complex IV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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