I have read wikipedia but don't understand it well. Do we mean Complex I, II,III and IV when we say respirasomes?

  • $\begingroup$ I have not heard of this term in so many years of studying biology. Whenever you are asking questions on terminology, always provide the context. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Apr 5 '16 at 4:35
  • $\begingroup$ I could not add the context because it appeared as a question in one of our college exams. $\endgroup$ – Tyto alba Apr 5 '16 at 6:28
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG Never heard of it either, sounds like it might be a 'kitchen table' terminology used by a handful (or just one!) researcher. Bit like 'quinary structure' which is meant to be assemblies of quaternary structures... $\endgroup$ – gilleain Apr 5 '16 at 9:40

What the article is saying, is that there are several respirasomes, each of which consists of multiple other mitochondrial complexes or cytochromes. The article makes an example of three commonly observed respirasomes when it says:

The most common supercomplexes observed are Complex I/III, Complex I/III/IV, and Complex III/IV.

So, the short answer to your question is that a respirasome refers to a set of multiple cytochromes, whose combined action leads to respiration.

This paper goes into more detail, and reiterates that the term "respirasome" is used to describe multiple cytochrome supercomplexes.


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