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(also benzoquinone, coenzyme Q), any of a series of derivatives of 5-methyl-2,3-dimethoxyquinone having a variable terpenoid side chain attached to the carbon atom in position six. Ubiquinones have from six to ten isoprenoid units (C5H8). The structural formula is

Ubiquinones figure in reactions that supply energy to cells. They are designated by the symbols UQn or CoQn; in the first, n represents the number of carbon atoms, and in the second, the number of isoprenoid units. For example, UQ30 will correspond to CoQ6. Ubiquinones occur as colorless, crystalline substances whose absorption maximum is at 270 micrometers. They are insoluble in water and soluble in organic solvents.

Ubiquinones are present in all organisms; UQ50 predominates in mammals, UQ30–50 in fungi, UQ40 in bacteria, UQ40–45 in protozoa, and UQ45–50 in insects. Plant mitochondria contain UQ40–50 in small quantities, and the chloroplasts in plants contain plastoquinones, which are similar to ubiquinones. Various naph-thoquinones occur in certain bacteria.

The biological role of ubiquinones is based on their ability to participate in reversible oxidation-reduction conversions. Ubiquinones are located in the cytoplasmic membranes of bacteria and in the inner membranes of mitochondria. They participate in the transfer of electrons and hydrogen between flavoproteins and cytochrome b in the respiratory chain.


Skulachev, V. P. Transformatsiia energii v biomembranakh. Moscow, 1972.
Morton, R. A. “Ubiquinones, Plastoquinones, and Vitamins K.” Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, 1971, vol. 46, no. 1.


References in periodicals archive ?
Dr Steele is a big believer in the benefits of coenzyme Q10, but he's not the only supporter of the supplement from the region.
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In a study conducted to evaluate the effects of topical application of 85 mg of Coenzyme Q10 with non-surgical periodontal therapy on adult periodontitis, Coenzyme Q10 was applied in periodontal pockets with probing depths of more than 4 mm for a period of six weeks.
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Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant, often found in facial care and skincare creams, where it is associated with an anti-ageing effect.
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Wassen's Coenzyme Q10 with Vitamin E is formulated to boost energy levels.
Tokyo, Japan, Aug 11, 2006 - (JCN) - Sharp Corporation announced on July 8 the launch of three new models of its Superheated Steam Oven featuring an expanded set of preprogrammed settings, as well as improved fat removal and salt reduction, and retention of nutrients such as vitamin C and coenzyme Q10, in Japan.
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