Electron carrier protein. The oxidized form of the cytochrome c heme group can accept an electron from the heme group of the cytochrome c1 subunit of cytochrome reductase. Cytochrome c then transfers this electron to the cytochrome oxidase complex, the final protein carrier in the mitochondrial electron-transport chain. Plays a role in apoptosis. Suppression of the anti-apoptotic members or activation of the pro-apoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family leads to altered mitochondrial membrane permeability resulting in release of cytochrome c into the cytosol. Binding of cytochrome c to Apaf-1 triggers the activation of caspase-9, which then accelerates apoptosis by activating other caspases.
Involvement in disease
Defects in CYCS are the cause of thrombocytopenia type 4 (THC4) [MIM:612004]; also known as autosomal dominant thrombocytopenia type 4. Thrombocytopenia is the presence of relatively few platelets in blood. THC4 is a non-syndromic form of thrombocytopenia. Clinical manifestations of thrombocytopenia are absent or mild. THC4 may be caused by dysregulated platelet formation.