Distribution of ubiquinone and ubiquinol homologues in rat tissues and subcellular fractions

Research paper by Takayuki Takahashi, Tadashi Okamoto, Koichi Mori, Hiroteru Sayo, Takeo Kishi

Indexed on: 01 Sep '93Published on: 01 Sep '93Published in: Lipids


The oxidized (UQox) and reduced (UQred) forms of ubiquinone (UQ) homologues in rat tissues and subcellular fractions were analyzed to elucidate their distribution and physiological role. UQ-9 and UQ-10 were detected in all tissues studied, and UQ-9 was the predominant homologue. The total amount of UQox-10 and UQred-10 was 20–50% that of UQox-9 and UQred-9. The levels of these homologues were highest in heart with lesser amounts occurring in kidney, liver and other organs. In liver and blood plasma, the UQred homologue amounted to 70–80% of the total UQ (UQox+UQred=t-UQ). UQred was less than 30% of t-UQ in other tissues and blood cells. t-UQ was much higher in leukocytes and platelets in blood than in erythrocytes. In erythrocytes, t-UQ was exclusively located in the cell membranes. UQox and UQred were also found in all subcellular fractions isolated from liver and kidney in about the same ratio as UQred/t-UQ was present in the whole organ. The levels of UQox and UQred per mg protein in subcellular fractions from liver were highest in mitochondria, with lesser amounts present in plasma membranes, lysosomes, Golgi complex, nuclei, microsomes and cytosol. In the mitochondria, the outer membranes were richer in t-UQ than the inner membranes. In the Golgi complex, the light and intermediate fractions were rich in t-UQ when compared to the heavy fraction. The possible physiological role of UQox and UQred in tissues and subcellular fractions is discussed.