A high diffusion coefficient for coenzyme Q10 might be related to a folded structure

FEBS Lett. 1998 Apr 10;426(1):77-80. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(98)00313-5.


We measured the lateral diffusion of different coenzyme Q homologues and analogues in model lipid vesicles using the fluorescence collisional quenching technique with pyrene derivatives and found diffusion coefficients in the range of 10(-6) cm2/s. Theoretical diffusion coefficients for these highly hydrophobic components were calculated according to the free volume theory. An important parameter in the free volume theory is the relative dimension between diffusant and solvent: a molecular dynamics computer simulation of the coenzymes yielded their most probable geometries and volumes and revealed surprisingly similar sizes of the short and long homologues, due to a folded structure of the isoprenoid chain in the latter, with a length for coenzyme Q10 of 21 A. Using this information we were able to calculate diffusion coefficients in the range of 10(-6) cm2/s, in good agreement with those found experimentally.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coenzymes
  • Diffusion
  • Electron Transport
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / chemistry


  • Coenzymes
  • Lipids
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10