Cellular redox poise modulation; the role of coenzyme Q10, gene and metabolic regulation Academic Article uri icon


  • In this communication, the concept is developed that coenzyme Q10 has a toti-potent role in the regulation of cellular metabolism. The redox function of coenzyme Q10 leads to a number of outcomes with major impacts on sub-cellular metabolism and gene regulation. Coenzyme Q10's regulatory activities are achieved in part, through the agency of its localization in the various sub-cellular membrane compartments. Its fluctuating redox poise within these membranes reflects the cell's metabolic micro-environments. As an integral part of this process, H2O2 is generated as a product of the normal electron transport systems to function as a mitogenic second messenger informing the nuclear and mitochondrial (chloroplast) genomes on a real-time basis of the status of the sub-cellular metabolic micro-environments and the needs of that cell. Coenzyme Q10 plays a major role both in energy conservation, and energy dissipation as a component of the uncoupler protein family. Coenzyme Q10 is both an anti-oxidant and a pro-oxidant and of the two the latter is proposed as its more important cellular function. Coenzyme Q10 has been reported, to be of therapeutic benefit in the treatment of a wide range of age related degenerative systemic diseases and mitochondrial disease. Our over-arching hypotheses on the central role played by coenzyme Q10 in redox poise changes, the generation of H2O2, consequent gene regulation and metabolic flux control may account for the wide ranging therapeutic benefits attributed to coenzyme Q10.

publication date

  • September 2004