SUMMARY: Mitochondrial respiration can be impaired by a toxic complex, termed succinic oxidase factor (s.o.f.), produced by 70% of coagulase-positive staphylococci. The oxidation of succinate is most sensitive, cytochrome oxidase less so while succinic dehydrogenase is resistant. The complex consists of at least two components, differing in degree of heat sensitivity. The more heat-resistant component impairs electron transfer in the region of ubiquinone (ubiquinone can reverse the impairment), while the other component impairs electron transfer in the region of cytochrome (cytochrome can reverse the impairment). It is thought that the components of s.o.f. may be of enzymic nature, acting on the phospholipids responsible for the integrity of the electron transport chain.


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