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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 May 21;396(1):74-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.02.147.

Coenzyme Q--biosynthesis and functions.

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  • 1Rolf Luft Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Karolinska Institutet, 17176 Stockholm, Sweden.


In addition to its role as a component of the mitochondrial respiratory chain and our only lipid-soluble antioxidant synthesized endogenously, in recent years coenzyme Q (CoQ) has been found to have an increasing number of other important functions required for normal metabolic processes. A number of genetic mutations that reduce CoQ biosynthesis are associated with serious functional disturbances that can be eliminated by dietary administration of this lipid, making CoQ deficiencies the only mitochondrial diseases which can be successfully treated at present. In connection with certain other diseases associated with excessive oxidative stress, the level of CoQ is elevated as a protective response. Aging, certain experimental conditions and several human diseases reduce this level, resulting in serious metabolic disturbances. Since dietary uptake of this lipid is limited, up-regulation of its biosynthetic pathway is of considerable clinical interest. One approach for this purpose is administration of epoxidated all-trans polyisoprenoids, which enhance both CoQ biosynthesis and levels in experimental systems.

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