Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an essential component of eukaryotic cells and is involved in crucial biochemical reactions such as the production of ATP in the mitochondrial respiratory chain, the biosynthesis of pyrimidines, and the modulation of apoptosis. CoQ10 requires at least 13 genes for its biosynthesis. Mutations in these genes cause primary CoQ10 deficiency, a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder. To date mutations in 8 genes (PDSS1, PDSS2, COQ2, COQ4, COQ6, ADCK3, ADCK4, and COQ9) have been associated with CoQ10 deficiency presenting with a wide variety of clinical manifestations. Onset can be at virtually any age, although pediatric forms are more common. Symptoms include those typical of respiratory chain disorders (encephalomyopathy, ataxia, lactic acidosis, deafness, retinitis pigmentosa, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), but some (such as steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome) are peculiar to this condition. The molecular bases of the clinical diversity of this condition are still unknown. It is of critical importance that physicians promptly recognize these disorders because most patients respond to oral administration of CoQ10.
Keywords: COQ genes; CoQ10; Coenzyme Q10; Primary CoQ10 deficiency; Respiratory chain disorders.