The molecular weight of cytochrome c is 12,327 daltons or atomic mass units. It is a protein that is associated with the process of cell death and has 104 amino acids in its peptide chain, making it a very large molecule.
Cytochrome c is believed to activate a cellular mechanism known as "apoptosis," a process of programmed cell death. This process is considered vital for the control of cell numbers. When the mitochondrion releases cytochrome c into the cytoplasm of the cell, it initiates the process of cell death. It also plays an important role in cellular respiration, which takes place in the mitochondria of every cell, and acts as a transporter of electrons during the process of respiration at the oxidation stage.