The respirasome is a multisubunit supercomplex of the respiratory chain in mitochondria. Here we report the 3D reconstruction of the bovine heart respirasome, composed of dimeric complex III and single copies of complex I and IV, at about 2.2-nm resolution, determined by cryoelectron tomography and subvolume averaging. Fitting of X-ray structures of single complexes I, III2, and IV with high fidelity allows interpretation of the model at the level of secondary structures and shows how the individual complexes interact within the respirasome. Surprisingly, the distance between cytochrome c binding sites of complexes III2 and IV is about 10 nm. Modeling indicates a loose interaction between the three complexes and provides evidence that lipids are gluing them at the interfaces.
Natural Sciences in General