Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Promotion of growth by Coenzyme Q10 is linked to gene expression in C. elegans.

PMID 25234594


Coenzyme Q (CoQ, ubiquinone) is an essential component of the respiratory chain, a cofactor of pyrimidine biosynthesis and acts as an antioxidant in extra mitochondrial membranes. More recently CoQ has been identified as a modulator of apoptosis, inflammation and gene expression. CoQ deficient Caenorhabditis elegans clk-1 mutants show several phenotypes including a delayed postembryonic growth. Using wild type and two clk-1 mutants, here we established an experimental set-up to study the consequences of endogenous CoQ deficiency or exogenous CoQ supply on gene expression and growth. We found that a deficiency of endogenous CoQ synthesis down-regulates a cluster of genes that are important for growth (i.e., RNA polymerase II, eukaryotic initiation factor) and up-regulates oxidation reactions (i.e., cytochrome P450, superoxide dismutase) and protein interactions (i.e., F-Box proteins). Exogenous CoQ supply partially restores the expression of these genes as well as the growth retardation of CoQ deficient clk-1 mutants. On the other hand exogenous CoQ supply does not alter the expression of a further sub-set of genes. These genes are involved in metabolism (i.e., succinate dehydrogenase complex), cell signalling or synthesis of lectins. Thus, our work provides a comprehensive overview of genes which can be modulated in their expression by endogenous or exogenous CoQ. As growth retardation in CoQ deficiency is linked to the gene expression profile we suggest that CoQ promotes growth via gene expression.