Coenzyme Q Ubiquinone

First detected in lipid extracts of mitochondria and identified as a quinone, coenzyme Q (CoQ) was so named to signify its cofactor role in oxidation reactions. A second group of investigators discovered a cofactor that had ubiquitous occurrence in oxidative processes, which they named ubiquinone. In time, CoQ and ubiquinone were found to be the same compound. Early studies on the electron transport chain of mitochondria showed at least three complexes required CoQ and recognized its essential role in the electron transfer process overall. CoQ can be synthesized in man from tyrosine in a rather complex synthesis.

Reactivity CoQ and its reduced form CoQH2 are designed to handle electron pairs in transit in oxidation-reduction reactions. A third form, semiquinone (CoQH.), exists as a stable radical and is capable of a one-electron transfer (Figure 12). Because of its ability to deal with electrons on a single or paired base, CoQ takes part in electron transport chains where one- and two-electron transfers are essential. Its lipid nature allows the cofactor to bind firmly to

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