Biochemistry

Six Steps to Health

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Science  06 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5600, pp. 1851
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5600.1851b

First isolated about five decades ago, coenzyme Q (a substituted quinone attached to a long hydrophobic tail) serves as a carrier of electrons between membrane-bound enzyme complexes in the mitochondrion, the site of oxidative phosphorylation. Recent findings have linked reactive oxygen species (perhaps an inevitable consequence of the confluence of dioxygen and electrons) in the mitochondrion to aging and spurred commercial interest in the potential health benefits of exogenous antioxidants, such as coenzyme Q and ascorbic acid. Lipshutz et al. have devised a simple six-step synthesis of coenzyme Q, starting from readily available materials and culminating in an overall yield of 64%. — GJC

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/ja021015v (2002).

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