A sensitive mass spectrometric assay for mitochondrial CoQ pool redox state in vivo.
Burger N., Logan A., Prime TA., Mottahedin A., Caldwell ST., Krieg T., Hartley RC., James AM., Murphy MP.
Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is an essential cofactor, primarily found in the mitochondrial inner membrane where it functions as an electron carrier in the respiratory chain, and as a lipophilic antioxidant. The redox state of the CoQ pool is the ratio of its oxidised (ubiquinone) and reduced (ubiquinol) forms, and is a key indicator of mitochondrial bioenergetic and antioxidant status. However, the role of CoQ redox state in vivo is poorly understood, because determining its value is technically challenging due to redox changes during isolation, extraction and analysis. To address these problems, we have developed a sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) assay that enables us to extract and analyse both the CoQ redox state and the magnitude of the CoQ pool with negligible changes to redox state from small amounts of tissue. This will enable the physiological and pathophysiological roles of the CoQ redox state to be investigated in vivo.