Coenzyme Q-dependent functions of plasma membrane in the aging process

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Coenzyme Q (Q) is reduced in plasma membrane and mitochondria by NAD(P)H-dependent reductases providing reducing equivalents to maintain both respiratory chain and antioxidant protection. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are accumulated in the aging process originating mainly in mitochondria but also in other membranes, such as plasma membrane partially by the loss of electrons from the semiquinone. The reduction of Q by NAD(P)H-dependent reductases in plasma membrane is responsible for providing its antioxidant capacity, preventing both the lipid peroxidation chain and the activation of the ceramide-dependent apoptosis pathway. Both Q content and its reductases are decreased in plasma membrane of aging mammals. Calorie restriction, which extends mammal life span, increases the content of Q in the plasma membrane and also activates Q reductases in this membrane. Both lipid peroxidation and ceramide production are decreased in the plasma membrane in calorie-restricted animals. Plasma membrane is, then, an important cellular component to control the aging process through its concentration and redox state of Q.

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