Cytochrome c

1988, Unknown Dimensions

Geis illustrates cytochrome C, one of the proteins responsible for energy transfer in the electron-transport chain. He highlighted the central heme group in the molecule. Cytochrome C is essential to energy production in the body, and this particular function is highlighted by Geis' choice of framing the central heme as a source of light.

Used with permission from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute ( All rights reserved.

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Painting Citation

Voet, J. G. & Voet, D. (1995). Biochemistry. Canada: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Related PDB Entry: 3CYT

Experimental Structure Citation

Takano, T. & Dickerson, R. (1980). Redox conformation changes in refined tuna cytochrome c. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 77, 6371-6375.

About Cytochrome C

Molecule of the Month: Cytochrome C

In the process of creating and transferring energy, the body uses a series of electron transporting molecules. Among these molecules is cytochrome C, which uses the tightly-attached prosthetic heme group as an electron carrier. The heme group accepts electrons and releases them in the proper environment, taking the electric energy from higher to lower potentials. Glucose is the first molecule in a chain of high energy molecules, which are catabolized to yield biological energy. As a result of this catabolism, electrons are produced and harvested to create an energy gradient for ATP production, after which they are bound to the oxygen we breathe to form a water byproduct. The resulting electrons are shuttled by cytochrome C between various complexes involved in producing the energy gradient.

Text References

Goodsell, D. (2002). Molecule of the Month: Cytochrome C. DOI: 10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2002_12