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Free Radic Biol Med. 1990;9(2):117-26.

Antioxidant action of ubiquinol homologues with different isoprenoid chain length in biomembranes.

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  • 1Institute of Physiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia.


Ubiquinones (CoQn) are intrinsic lipid components of many membranes. Besides their role in electron-transfer reactions they may act as free radical scavengers, yet their antioxidant function has received relatively little study. The efficiency of ubiquinols of varying isoprenoid chain length (from Q0 to Q10) in preventing (Fe2+ + ascorbate)-dependent or (Fe2+ + NADPH)-dependent lipid peroxidation was investigated in rat liver microsomes and brain synaptosomes and mitochondria. Ubiquinols, the reduced forms of CoQn, possess much greater antioxidant activity than the oxidized ubiquinone forms. In homogenous solution the radical scavenging activity of ubiquinol homologues does not depend on the length of their isoprenoid chain. However in membranes ubiquinols with short isoprenoid chains (Q1-Q4) are much more potent inhibitors of lipid peroxidation than the longer chain homologues (Q5-Q10). It is found that: i) the inhibitory action, that is, antioxidant efficiency of short-chain ubiquinols decreases in order Q1 greater than Q2 greater than Q3 greater than Q4; ii) the antioxidant efficiency of long-chain ubiquinols is only slightly dependent on their concentrations in the order Q5 greater than Q6 greater than Q7 greater than Q8 greater than Q9 greater than Q10 and iii) the antioxidant efficiency of Q0 is markedly less than that of other homologues. Interaction of ubiquinols with oxygen radicals was followed by their effects on luminol-activated chemiluminescence. Ubiquinols Q1-Q4 at 0.1 mM completely inhibit the luminol-activated NADPH-dependent chemiluminescent response of microsomes, while homologues Q6-Q10 exert no effect. In contrast to ubiquinol Q10 (ubiquinone Q10) ubiquinone Q1 synergistically enhances NADPH-dependent regeneration of endogenous vitamin E in microsomes thus providing for higher antioxidant protection against lipid peroxidation. The differences in the antioxidant potency of ubiquinols in membranes are suggested to result from differences in partitioning into membranes, intramembrane mobility and non-uniform distribution of ubiquinols resulting in differing efficiency of interaction with oxygen and lipid radicals as well as different efficiency of ubiquinols in regeneration of endogenous vitamin E.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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