In the present chapter, the structures and mechanisms of the major components of mammalian mitochondrial respiratory chains are reviewed. Particular emphasis is placed on the four protein complexes and their cofactors that catalyse the electron transfer pathway between oxidation of NADH and succinate and the reduction of oxygen to water. Current ideas are reviewed of how these electron transfer reactions are coupled to formation of the proton and charge gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane that is used to drive ATP synthesis. Additional respiratory components that are found in mammalian and plant, fungal and algal mitochondria are also reviewed.

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