In the study cited by Kevin, ( J Biol Chem. 2001 Feb 16;276(7):4588-96. Epub 2000 Nov 22, you can read the entire article for free at http://www.jbc.org/c...full/276/7/4588
) MitoQ, which is a mixture of the reduced (mitoquinol) and oxidized (mitoquinone) is essentially ubiquinone (coenzyme q10) but with a modification (addition of a lipophilic cation) that allows it to be preferentially uptaken by mitochondria.
In other words, this is not a "magic new drug", this is the same coenzyme q10 you can buy at the health food store with the addition of a lipophilic moiety (a molecular component) that is attracted to the lipid bilayer of plasma membranes in mitochondria, which have an ionic charge due to the large number of ions generated inside.
For those that do not know how coenzyme Q10 is of benefit, it basically mops up the free radicals that are generated during the metabolic processes in the mitochondria. These free radicals are dangerous because they are highly charged and can do things like knock DNA bases out of whack in the mitochondrial DNA. And if you do a lot of that it will send a suicide message to the cell (apoptosis).
Essentially, MitoQ may just do what Coenzyme Q10 does but in smaller dosage since it is preferentially targeted to the mitochondria. A study shows that MitoQ is several hundredfold more selectively uptaken than Coenzyme Q10 (MATTHIAS L. JAUSLIN, THOMAS MEIER, ROBIN A. J. SMITH, and MICHAEL P. MURPHY Mitochondria-targeted antioxidants protect Friedreich Ataxia fibroblasts from endogenous oxidative stress more effectively than untargeted antioxidants FASEB J. 2003 17: 1972-1974). Once more the testing was done in cultured cells. But as cited by abolitionist mice trials have proven safe and efficacious.
The company that is producing the drug commercially is based in New Zealand ( http://www.irl.cri.n...ews/glyco3.html
As those of us that take Coenzyme Q10 know, it is one of the more expensive supplements and one needs to take very high dosages to experience a very slight effect. It is probably more useful for older people with a tired cell system.
BEWARE: do not attempt to buy anything over the internet by people pretending to sell this stuff for research purposes or whatever, unless you have access to a lab that can verify the material. A legitimate lab will not sell this stuff ad hoc. An underground lab will not have adequate purification and decontamination procedures in place. If you desperately want to get your hands on the stuff you can contact the company direct and place an order "for research purposes only", say to be used in an experiment with flies or mice in the lab. In all the research cited the MitoQ has been synthesized and not purchased by a supplier. Alternatively if you are an organic chemist or know one, the recipe is in the research article cited above. Lethal dosage in humans (in mice it is 20mg/kg/day was tolerated for 25 days prior to toxicity) has not been established but be aware that the very lipophilic mechanism that enables the targeted distribution Coenzyme Q10 can disrupt ATP synthesis! So an overdose is lethal.
This is not a mitochondrial panacea. It is a clever method of Coenzyme Q10 delivery. Of interest is the trend: we also have MitoE - a Vitamin E version that is selectively targeted to the mitochondria. This heralds a new era in more specifically targeted supplements/drugs. But beware of ATP disruption.
Edited by prometheus1, 13 June 2004 - 05:10 AM.