Cytochrome c oxidase (COX), the terminal component of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, catalyzes the electron transfer from reduced cytochrome c to oxygen. This component is a heteromeric complex consisting of 3 catalytic subunits encoded by mitochondrial genes and multiple structural subunits encoded by nuclear genes. The mitochondrially-encoded subunits function in electron transfer, and the nuclear-encoded subunits may function in the regulation and assembly of the complex. This nuclear gene encodes a protein which is not a structural subunit, but may be a heme A biosynthetic enzyme involved in COX formation, according to the yeast mutant studies. However, the studies in Rhodobacter sphaeroides suggest that this gene is not required for heme A biosynthesis, but required for stable formation of the Cu(B) and magnesium centers of COX. This human protein is predicted to contain a transmembrane domain localized in the mitochondrial inner membrane. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. A related pseudogene has been found on chromosome 6.