Molecular and Cellular Biology
NADH-quinone oxidoreductase (complex I) is the largest and most complicated enzyme complex of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. It is the entry site into the respiratory chain for most of the reducing equivalents generated during metabolism, coupling electron transfer from NADH to quinone to proton translocation, which in turn drives ATP synthesis. Dysfunction of complex I is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and it is proposed to be involved in aging. Complex I has one non-covalently bound FMN, eight to 10 iron-sulfur clusters, and protein-associated quinone molecules as electron transport components. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) has previously been the most informative technique, especially in membrane in situ analysis. The structure of complex 1 has now been resolved from a number of species, but the mechanisms by which electron transfer is coupled to transmembrane proton pumping remains unresolved. Ubiquinone-10, the terminal electron acceptor of complex I, is detectable by EPR in its one electron reduced, semiquinone (SQ) state. In the aerobic steady state of respiration the semi-ubiquinone anion has been observed and studied in detail. Two distinct protein-associated fast and slow relaxing, SQ signals have been resolved which were designated SQNf and SQNs. This review covers a five decade personal journey through the field leading to a focus on the unresolved questions of the role of the SQ radicals and their possible part in proton pumping.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Ohnishi, Tomoko; Ohnishi, S. Tsuyoshi; and Salerno, John C., "Five Decades of Research on Mitochondrial NADH-quinone Oxidoreductase (complex I)" (2018). Faculty Publications. 4437.