Exploring membrane respiratory chains

Bruno C. Marreiros, Filipa Calisto, Paulo J. Castro, Afonso M. Duarte, Filipa V. Sena, Andreia F. Silva, Filipe M. Sousa, Miguel Teixeira, Ana Patrícia Refojo, Manuela Alexandra Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Acquisition of energy is central to life. In addition to the synthesis of ATP, organisms need energy for the establishment and maintenance of a transmembrane difference in electrochemical potential, in order to import and export metabolites or to their motility. The membrane potential is established by a variety of membrane bound respiratory complexes. In this work we explored the diversity of membrane respiratory chains and the presence of the different enzyme complexes in the several phyla of life. We performed taxonomic profiles of the several membrane bound respiratory proteins and complexes evaluating the presence of their respective coding genes in all species deposited in KEGG database. We evaluated 26 quinone reductases, 5 quinol:electron carriers oxidoreductases and 18 terminal electron acceptor reductases. We further included in the analyses enzymes performing redox or decarboxylation driven ion translocation, ATP synthase and transhydrogenase and we also investigated the electron carriers that perform functional connection between the membrane complexes, quinones or soluble proteins. Our results bring a novel, broad and integrated perspective of membrane bound respiratory complexes and thus of the several energetic metabolisms of living systems. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘EBEC 2016: 19th European Bioenergetics Conference, Riva del Garda, Italy, July 2–6, 2016’, edited by Prof. Paolo Bernardi.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1067
Number of pages29
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta-Bioenergetics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Anaerobe
  • Ion transport
  • Oxygen
  • Quinone
  • Respiration
  • Taxonomic profile


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