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FEBS Lett. 1993 Oct 11;332(1-2):127-31.

Assay conditions for the mitochondrial NADH:coenzyme Q oxidoreductase.

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Dipartimento di Biochimica, Università di Bologna, Italy.


The assay of Complex I activity requires the use of artificial acceptors, such as short-chain coenzyme Q homologs and analogs, because the physiological quinones, such as CoQ10, are too insoluble in water to be added as substrates to the assay media. The medical interest raised in the last years on the pathological changes of Complex I activity has focussed on the requirement of easy reliable assays for its analysis. We have undertaken a systematic examination of the assay conditions of Complex I in mitochondrial membranes, using a series of quinones as electron acceptors, particularly the coenzyme Q homologs CoQ0, CoQ1 and CoQ2, and the analogs duroquinone and decylubiquinone. Our findings have pointed out that the most suitable electron acceptor for the NADH:CoQ reductase assay is the homolog CoQ1. The analog DB, commercially available, although yielding a high activity, nevertheless causes some problems for the standardization of the assay conditions.

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