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C-type cytochromes are proteins that are essential for the life of virtually all organisms. They characteristically contain heme that is covalently attached via thioether bonds to two cysteines in the protein. In this Account, we describe the challenging chemistry of thioether bond formation and the surprising variety of biogenesis systems that exist in nature to perform the difficult posttranslational heme attachment process. We show what insight has been gained into the various biogenesis systems from in vitro and in vivo experiments and highlight some forthcoming challenges in this field.

Original publication




Journal article


Acc Chem Res

Publication Date





999 - 1007


Animals, Bacterial Proteins, Cytochromes c, Heme, Mitochondria, Models, Molecular, Molecular Structure