Co-Enzyme Q10 and Idebenone

What is Co-Enzyme Q10?

Co-enzyme Q10 is a type of chemical called a Quinone.

It is found everywhere in the body and scientists often call it Ubiquonone (ubiquitous quinone).

Each molecule of Co-enzyme Q10 or Ubiquinone has a “head” and a long “tail” with 10 repeating groups. That is why the name  is Q10.

Structure of Co-enzyme Q10 or Ubiquinone.


Co-enzyme Q10 is very important for releasing energy from food. It is built into the structure of mitochondrial protein complex I.  It is also dissolved in the mitochondrial membrane.

It is Co-enzyme Q10 that transports high-energy electrons from Complex I to Complex III.  It also transports high-energy electrons from Complex II to Complex III.

Without Co-enzyme Q10, Complex III and Complex IV would not get the energy they need to do their job.

For more information on how Co-enzyme (Ubiquinol) is used inside mitochondria look at the page on LHON Cause.

The important properties of Co-enzyme Q10 are:

  • It can pick up two high-energy electrons and pass them on to Complex III.
  • It dissolves and can move inside the mitochondrial membrane.

What is different about Idebenone?

Idebenone, or Raxone® has similar properties to Co-enzyme Q10.

It can pick up high-energy electrons and pass them on to Complex III.

It is a smaller molecule than Co-enzyme Q10. This means it can pass through membranes and the blood-brain barrier more easily.

It dissolves in the Mitochondrial membrane.

It seems to reduce the amount of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) produced and increase the amou nt of ATP produced ini cells affected by LHON.

This page was last updated September 17 2015.

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