Natural distribution and occurrence of coenzyme Q homologues

Membr Biochem. 1990 Jul-Sep;9(3):179-90. doi: 10.3109/09687689009025839.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / enzymology*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Ubiquinone / analysis*


  • Ubiquinone