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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Apr;959:396-411; discussion 463-5.

Human aging and global function of coenzyme Q10.

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Centre for Molecular Biology and Medicine, Epworth Medical Centre, Richmond, Victoria 3121, Australia.


In this paper, we review two parts of our recent work on human skeletal muscle. The first part mainly describes changes occurring during aging, whereas the second part discusses the functions of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), particularly in relation to the aging process. During the lifetime of an individual, mtDNA undergoes a variety of mutation events and rearrangements. These mutations and their consequent bioenergenic decline, together with nuclear DNA damage, contribute to the reduced function of cells and organs, especially in postmitotic tissues. In skeletal muscle, this functional decline can be observed by means of changes with age in fiber type profile and the reduction in the number and size of the muscle fibers. In addition to the functions of coenzyme Q10 as an electron carrier in the respiratory chain and as an antioxidant, CoQ10 has been shown to regulate global gene expression in skeletal muscle. We hypothesize that this regulation is achieved via superoxide formation with H2O2 as a second messenger to the nucleus.

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