Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Juli Peretó
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_384-2


Cytochromes are a class of electron-transferring metalloproteins containing a heme as prosthetic group and that participate in many different respiratory and photosynthetic electron transport chains, usually as membrane-bound electron carriers. The function of cytochromes as electron carriers involves the alternate oxidation and reduction of the iron ion present in the heme group, one electron each time (i.e., between the reduced ferrous state and the oxidized ferric state), and with a standard redox potential between −100 and +500 mV. The cytochromes are classified on the basis of their characteristic, redox-sensitive, visible absorbance spectra.

See Also


Electron Transport Redox Potential Bioorganic Chemistry Electron Transport Chain Transport Chain 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia EvolutivaUniversitat de ValènciaValènciaSpain