Ubiquinone (UQ, coenzyme Q) is an essential electron transfer lipid in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. It is a main source of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) but also has antioxidant properties. This mix of characteristics is why ubiquinone supplementation is considered a potential therapy for many diseases involving mitochondrial dysfunction. Mutations in the ubiquinone biosynthetic pathway are increasingly being identified in patients. Furthermore, secondary ubiquinone deficiency is a common finding associated with mitochondrial disorders and might exacerbate these conditions. Recent developments have suggested that ubiquinone biosynthesis occurs in discrete domains of the mitochondrial inner membrane close to ER-mitochondria contact sites. This spatial requirement for ubiquinone biosynthesis could be the link between secondary ubiquinone deficiency and mitochondrial dysfunction, which commonly results in loss of mitochondrial structural integrity.
Keywords: ER–mitochondria contact sites; coenzyme Q; mitochondrial dysfunction; ubiquinone; ubiquinone biosynthesis.
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