1. The endogenous phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine of Complexes I and III from bovine heart mitochondria may be completely replaced with 1,2-ditetradecanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine with at least partial retention of activity. 2. The lipid-replaced enzymes associate in 1:1 molar ratio to give a Complex I–III unit catalysing NADH-cytochrome c oxidoreductase activity. 3. On increasing the concentration of ubiquinone-10 and the synthetic phospholipid, the lipid-replaced Complexes appear to operate independently of each other as in the natural membrane. Thus the lipid-replaced enzymes associate in exactly the same ways as the enzymes containing natural phospholipids. 4. Arrhenius plots of NADH–cytochrome c oxidoreductase activity reconstituted from lipid-replaced Complexes I and III exhibit changes in slope at 24 degrees C. When the concentrations of phospholipid and ubiquinone-10 are increased, the Arrhenius plots show discontinuities at 24 degrees C as well as changes in slope. 5. The kinetics of cytochrome b reduction by NADH were measured in mixtures containing 2 mol of Complex III/mol of Complex I. When the enzymes contained natural phospholipids. the reduction kinetics were biphasic. When the enzymes had been supplemented with further phospholipid and ubiquinone-10 the kinetics were monophasic. When lipid-replaced enzymes were supplemented with 1,2-ditetradecanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine and ubiquinone-10, reduction of cytochrome b was monophasic above the phase-transition temperature of the lipid but biphasic below it. 6. These findings are interpreted in terms of the model for the interaction of Complexes in the natural membrane proposed by Heron, Ragan & Trum-power [(1978) Biochem. J. 174, 791–800].

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