Correlation Engine 2.0
Clear Search sequence regions

Sizes of these terms reflect their relevance to your search.

Flight dispersal represents a key aspect of the evolutionary and ecological success of insects, allowing escape from predators, mating, and colonization of new niches. The huge energy demand posed by flight activity is essentially met by oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) in flight muscle mitochondria. In insects, mitochondrial ATP supply and oxidant production are regulated by several factors, including the energy demand exerted by changes in adenylate balance. Indeed, adenylate directly regulates OXPHOS by targeting both chemiosmotic ATP production and the activities of specific mitochondrial enzymes. In several organisms, cytochrome c oxidase (COX) is regulated at transcriptional, post-translational, and allosteric levels, impacting mitochondrial energy metabolism, and redox balance. This review will present the concepts on how COX function contributes to flying insect biology, focusing on the existing examples in the literature where its structure and activity are regulated not only by physiological and environmental factors but also how changes in its activity impacts insect biology. We also performed in silico sequence analyses and determined the structure models of three COX subunits (IV, VIa, and VIc) from different insect species to compare with mammalian orthologs. We observed that the sequences and structure models of COXIV, COXVIa, and COXVIc were quite similar to their mammalian counterparts. Remarkably, specific substitutions to phosphomimetic amino acids at critical phosphorylation sites emerge as hallmarks on insect COX sequences, suggesting a new regulatory mechanism of COX activity. Therefore, by providing a physiological and bioenergetic framework of COX regulation in such metabolically extreme models, we hope to expand the knowledge of this critical enzyme complex and the potential consequences for insect dispersal.


Rafael D Mesquita, Alessandro Gaviraghi, Renata L S Gonçalves, Marcos A Vannier-Santos, Julio A Mignaco, Carlos Frederico L Fontes, Luciana E S F Machado, Marcus F Oliveira. Cytochrome c Oxidase at Full Thrust: Regulation and Biological Consequences to Flying Insects. Cells. 2021 Feb 22;10(2)

Expand section icon Mesh Tags

Expand section icon Substances

PMID: 33671793

View Full Text