King 2009 Biochemistry

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King MS, Sharpley MS, Hirst J (2009) Reduction of hydrophilic ubiquinones by the flavin in mitochondrial NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (Complex I) and production of reactive oxygen species. Biochemistry 48:2053-62.

Β» PMID: 19220002 Open Access

King MS, Sharpley MS, Hirst J (2009) Biochemistry

Abstract: NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) from bovine heart mitochondria is a complicated, energy-transducing, membrane-bound enzyme that contains 45 different subunits, a non-covalently bound flavin mononucleotide, and eight iron-sulfur clusters. The mechanisms of NADH oxidation and intramolecular electron transfer by complex I are gradually being defined, but the mechanism linking ubiquinone reduction to proton translocation remains unknown. Studies of ubiquinone reduction by isolated complex I are problematic because the extremely hydrophobic natural substrate, ubiquinone-10, must be substituted with a relatively hydrophilic analogue (such as ubiquinone-1). Hydrophilic ubiquinones are reduced by an additional, non-energy-transducing pathway (which is insensitive to inhibitors such as rotenone and piericidin A). Here, we show that inhibitor-insensitive ubiquinone reduction occurs by a ping-pong type mechanism, catalyzed by the flavin mononucleotide cofactor in the active site for NADH oxidation. Moreover, semiquinones produced at the flavin site initiate redox cycling reactions with molecular oxygen, producing superoxide radicals and hydrogen peroxide. The ubiquinone reactant is regenerated, so the NADH:Q reaction becomes superstoichiometric. Idebenone, an artificial ubiquinone showing promise in the treatment of Friedreich's Ataxia, reacts at the flavin site. The factors which determine the balance of reactivity between the two sites of ubiquinone reduction (the energy-transducing site and the flavin site) and the implications for mechanistic studies of ubiquinone reduction by complex I are discussed. Finally, the possibility that the flavin site in complex I catalyzes redox cycling reactions with a wide range of compounds, some of which are important in pharmacology and toxicology, is discussed.

β€’ Bioblast editor: Gnaiger E

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Hydrogen ion ambiguities in the electron transfer system

Communicated by Gnaiger E (2023-10-08) last update 2023-11-10
Electron (e-) transfer linked to hydrogen ion (hydron; H+) transfer is a fundamental concept in the field of bioenergetics, critical for understanding redox-coupled energy transformations.
Ambiguity alert H+.png
However, the current literature contains inconsistencies regarding H+ formation on the negative side of bioenergetic membranes, such as the matrix side of the mitochondrial inner membrane, when NADH is oxidized during oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Ambiguities arise when examining the oxidation of NADH by respiratory Complex I or succinate by Complex II.
Ambiguity alert e-.png
Oxidation of NADH or succinate involves a two-electron transfer of 2{H++e-} to FMN or FAD, respectively. Figures indicating a single electron e- transferred from NADH or succinate lack accuracy.
Ambiguity alert NAD.png
The oxidized NAD+ is distinguished from NAD indicating nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide independent of oxidation state.
NADH + H+ β†’ NAD+ +2{H++e-} is the oxidation half-reaction in this H+-linked electron transfer represented as 2{H++e-} (Gnaiger 2023). Putative H+ formation shown as NADH β†’ NAD+ + H+ conflicts with chemiosmotic coupling stoichiometries between H+ translocation across the coupling membrane and electron transfer to oxygen. Ensuring clarity in this complex field is imperative to tackle the apparent ambiguity crisis and prevent confusion, particularly in light of the increasing number of interdisciplinary publications on bioenergetics concerning diagnostic and clinical applications of OXPHOS analysis.


Enzyme: Complex I 

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