Disorders of Human Coenzyme Q10 Metabolism: An Overview.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has a number of vital functions in all cells, both mitochondrial and extramitochondrial. In addition to its key role in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, CoQ10 serves as a lipid soluble antioxidant, plays an important role in fatty acid, pyrimidine and lysosomal metabolism, as well as directly mediating the expression of a number of genes, including those involved in inflammation. In view of the central role of CoQ10 in cellular metabolism, it is unsurprising that a CoQ10 deficiency is linked to the pathogenesis of a range of disorders. CoQ10 deficiency is broadly classified into primary or secondary deficiencies. Primary deficiencies result from genetic defects in the multi-step biochemical pathway of CoQ10 synthesis, whereas secondary deficiencies can occur as result of other diseases or certain pharmacotherapies. In this article we have reviewed the clinical consequences of primary and secondary CoQ10 deficiencies, as well as providing some examples of the successful use of CoQ10 supplementation in the treatment of disease.