Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is a remarkable redox-active prenyl lipid that is among the most hydrophobic molecules in nature. It is a requisite component of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, an essential cofactor in various metabolic pathways, and a key antioxidant throughout cellular membranes. CoQ deficiency underlies a wide range of disorders that most often cannot be rectified through supplementation. Despite the discovery of CoQ in the 1950s, multiple steps in the CoQ pathway are likely fulfilled by yet-to-be-identified proteins and the biochemical roles of essential auxiliary proteins remain poorly defined. We are integrating various biochemical, genetic, and structural biology approaches to fill in these gaps, and are exploring new small molecule approaches to augment endogenous CoQ levels.
Selected Recent Publications