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J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2012 Mar;50(2):119-26. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.11-19. Epub 2011 Nov 11.

Ubiquinol affects the expression of genes involved in PPARα signalling and lipid metabolism without changes in methylation of CpG promoter islands in the liver of mice.

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Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Research Unit Nutritional Physiology "Oskar Kellner", Dummerstorf, Germany.


Coenzyme Q(10) is an essential cofactor in the respiratory chain and serves as a potent antioxidant in biological membranes. Recent studies in vitro and in vivo provide evidence that Coenzyme Q(10) is involved in inflammatory processes and lipid metabolism via gene expression. To study these effects at the epigenomic level, C57BL6J mice were supplemented for one week with reduced Coenzyme Q(10) (ubiquinol). Afterwards, gene expression signatures and DNA promoter methylation patterns of selected genes were analysed. Genome-wide transcript profiling in the liver identified 1112 up-regulated and 571 down-regulated transcripts as differentially regulated between ubiquinol-treated and control animals. Text mining and GeneOntology analysis revealed that the "top 20" ubiquinol-regulated genes play a role in lipid metabolism and are functionally connected by the PPARα signalling pathway. With regard to the ubiquinol-induced changes in gene expression of about +3.14-fold (p≤0.05), +2.18-fold (p≤0.01), and -2.13-fold (p≤0.05) for ABCA1, ACYP1, and ACSL1 genes, respectively, hepatic DNA methylation analysis of 282 (sense orientation) and 271 (antisense) CpG units in the respective promoter islands revealed no significant effect of ubiquinol. In conclusion, ubiquinol affects the expression of genes involved in PPARα signalling and lipid metabolism without changing the promoter DNA methylation status in the liver of mice.


gene expression; inflammation; lipid metabolism; methylation; ubiquinol

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