Redox and reactive oxygen species regulation of mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase biogenesis

Myriam Bourens, Flavia Fontanesi, Iliana C. Soto, Jingjing Liu, Antoni Barrientos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Significance: Cytochrome c oxidase (COX), the last enzyme of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, is the major oxygen consumer enzyme in the cell. COX biogenesis involves several redox-regulated steps. The process is highly regulated to prevent the formation of pro-oxidant intermediates. Recent Advances: Regulation of COX assembly involves several reactive oxygen species and redox-regulated steps. These include: (i) Intricate redox-controlled machineries coordinate the expression of COX isoenzymes depending on the environmental oxygen concentration. (ii) COX is a heme A-copper metalloenzyme. COX copper metallation involves the copper chaperone Cox17 and several other recently described cysteine-rich proteins, which are oxidatively folded in the mitochondrial intermembrane space. Copper transfer to COX subunits 1 and 2 requires concomitant transfer of redox power. (iii) To avoid the accumulation of reactive assembly intermediates, COX is regulated at the translational level to minimize synthesis of the heme A-containing Cox1 subunit when assembly is impaired. Critical Issues: An increasing number of regulatory pathways converge to facilitate efficient COX assembly, thus preventing oxidative stress. Future Directions: Here we will review on the redox-regulated COX biogenesis steps and will discuss their physiological relevance. Forthcoming insights into the precise regulation of mitochondrial COX biogenesis in normal and stress conditions will likely open future perspectives for understanding mitochondrial redox regulation and prevention of oxidative stress. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 19, 1940-1952.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1940-1952
Number of pages13
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number16
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Redox and reactive oxygen species regulation of mitochondrial cytochrome C oxidase biogenesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this