Role of the isoprenyl tail of ubiquinone in reaction with respiratory enzymes: studies with bovine heart mitochondrial complex I and Escherichia coli bo-type ubiquinol oxidase

Biochemistry. 1998 Oct 27;37(43):15106-13. doi: 10.1021/bi981193u.


The hydrophobic isoprene tail of ubiquinone-2 (Q2) exihibits binding specificity in redox reactions with bovine heart mitochondrial complex I (Ohshima, M., Miyoshi, H., Sakamoto, K., Takegami, K., Iwata, J., Kuwabara, K., Iwamura, H., and Yagi, T. (1998) Biochemistry 37, 6436-6445) and the Escherichia coli bo-type ubiquinol oxidase (Sakamoto, K., Miyoshi, H., Takegami, K., Mogi, T., Anraku, Y., and Iwamura, H. (1996) J. Biol. Chem. 271, 29897-29902). To identify the structural factor(s) of the diprenyl tail of Q2 governing the specific interaction with these enzymes, we synthesized a series of novel Q2 analogues in which only one of the structural factors of the diprenyl tail was systematically modified. In bovine complex I, the presence of the methyl branch and the pi-electron system in the first isoprene unit are responsible for high-affinity binding of Q2 to the ubiquinone reduction site, which results in a low Km and kcat values of Q2 reduction. The position of the methyl group in the tail is strictly recognized by the enzyme. In contrast to complex I, in bo-type ubiquinol oxidase, either of the two pi-electron systems in the tail is required for high-affinity binding of Q2H2 to the enzyme, while the presence of the methyl branch and the location of the pi-electron systems are not strictly recognized by the enzyme. We concluded that the role of the ubiquinone tail is not simply the enhancement of the hydrophobicity of the molecule and that molecular recognition of the tail by the quinone redox site differs among the respiratory enzymes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cattle
  • Electron Transport
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology*
  • Kinetics
  • Mitochondria, Heart / enzymology*
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone) / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Prenylation*
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives
  • Ubiquinone / chemical synthesis
  • Ubiquinone / metabolism*


  • Ubiquinone
  • NAD(P)H Dehydrogenase (Quinone)
  • cytochrome o oxidase
  • Electron Transport Complex IV
  • Ubiquinone Q2