The mitochondrial P450 family of enzymes (SCC), which require the electron transport chain (ETC) complexes III, IV and V, initiate steroidogenesis by cleaving the sidechain of cholesterol to synthesize steroid hormones, an essential component for mammalian survival. SCC is required for full-term gestation, and aberrant expression may cause pseudohermaphroditism, breast cancer or polycystic ovary syndrome. Complex II or succinate dehydrogenase (quinone) is shared with the TCA cycle and has no proton pumping capacity and no known role in steroid synthesis. We now show that succinate is an intermediate metabolite in the TCA cycle and plays a central role physiologically. Specifically, complex II is required for SCC activation, where the proton pump facilitates an active intermediate state conformation at the matrix, so that in the presence of succinate, ATP can add phosphate. A longer intermediate equilibrium state generates a transient stabilization to enhance the binding of phosphate anions in the presence of succinate anions, resulting in higher enthalpy and activity. An inhibition of the processing at the intermediate state stops phosphate addition and activity. We further describe that phosphate circulation brings the molten globule, an intermediate, to an active folded state. This is the first report showing that an intermediate state activated by succinate facilitates ETC complex II interaction with complexes III and IV for metabolism.