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Membr Biochem. 1990 Jul-Sep;9(3):179-90.

Natural distribution and occurrence of coenzyme Q homologues.

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Istituto di Biochimica, Università di Ancona, Italy.


The knowledge of coenzyme Q levels in tissues, organs, and subcellular compartments is of outstanding interest. A wide amount of data regarding coenzyme Q distribution and occurrence was collected in the last decades; nevertheless the data are often hard to compare because of the different extraction methods and different analytical techniques used. We have undertaken a systematic study for detecting the ubiquinone content in subcellular compartments, cells, and whole-tissue homogenates by a previously standardized HPLC method performed after an extraction procedure identical for all samples. It was confirmed that the major coenzyme Q homologue in rat tissues is coenzyme Q9; however, it was pointed out that all the rodents samples tested contain more than one coenzyme Q homologue. The coenzyme Q homologue distribution is tissue dependent with relatively high coenzyme Q10 content in brain mitochondria, irrespective of the rat strain used. There is no constant relationship of the coenzyme Q content in mitochondria and microsomes fractions. Most organisms tested (including other mammals, bird and fish specimens) have only coenzyme Q10, while the protozoan Tetrahymena pyriformis contains only coenzyme Q8.

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