Cytochrome C oxidase (COX) is the terminal enzyme of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. It is a multi-subunit enzyme complex that couples the transfer of electrons from cytochrome c to molecular oxygen and contributes to a proton electrochemical gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane. The complex consists of 13 mitochondrial- and nuclear-encoded subunits. The mitochondrially-encoded subunits perform the electron transfer and proton pumping activities. The functions of the nuclear-encoded subunits are unknown but they may play a role in the regulation and assembly of the complex. This gene encodes the nuclear-encoded subunit Vb of the human mitochondrial respiratory chain enzyme.