[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the times of the Bible, an extract of black cumin seeds was used as a medicine to treatmany human pathologies. Thymoquinone (2-demethylplastoquinone derivative) was identified as an active antioxidant component of this extract. Recently, it was shown that conjugates of plastoquinone and penetrating cations are potent mitochondria-targeted antioxidants effective in treating a large number of age-related pathologies. This review summarizes new data on the antioxidant and some other properties of membrane-penetrating cationic compounds where 2-demethylplastoquinone substitutes for plastoquinone. It was found that such a substitution significantly increases a window between anti- and prooxidant concentrations of the conjugates. Like the original plastoquinone derivatives, the novel compounds are easily reduced by the respiratory chain, penetrate through model and natural membranes, specifically accumulate in mitochondria in an electrophoretic fashion, and strongly inhibit H2O2-induced apoptosis at pico- and nanomolar concentrations in cell cultures. At present, cationic demethylplastoquinone derivatives appear to be the most promising mitochondria-targeted drugs of the quinone series.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Content to Supplementary Iinformation for the Article of Y.N. Antonenko et al.:
S1: Structures, Methods of Synthesis, and Certain Physicochemical Properties of Cationic
S2: SkQs in BLM and Isolated Mitochondria;
S3: SkQ1 in Human Cell Cultures
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Novel mitochondria-targeted compounds composed entirely of natural constituents have been synthesized and tested in model lipid membranes, in isolated mitochondria, and in living human cells in culture. Berberine and palmatine, penetrating cations of plant origin, were conjugated by nonyloxycarbonylmethyl residue with the plant electron carrier and antioxidant plastoquinone. These conjugates (SkQBerb, SkQPalm) and their analogs lacking the plastoquinol moiety (C10Berb and C10Palm) penetrated across planar bilayer phospholipid membrane in their cationic forms and accumulated in isolated mitochondria or in mitochondria in living human cells in culture. Reduced forms of SkQBerb and SkQPalm inhibited lipid peroxidation in isolated mitochondria at nanomolar concentrations. In isolated mitochondria and in living cells, the berberine and palmatine moieties were not reduced, so antioxidant activity belonged exclusively to the plastoquinol moiety. In human fibroblasts, nanomolar SkQBerb and SkQPalm prevented fragmentation of mitochondria and apoptosis induced by exogenous hydrogen peroxide. At higher concentrations, conjugates of berberine and palmatine induced proton transport mediated by free fatty acids both in model and in mitochondrial membrane. In mitochondria this process was facilitated by the adenine nucleotide carrier. As an example of application of the novel mitochondria-targeted antioxidants SkQBerb and SkQPalm to studies of signal transduction, we discuss induction of cell cycle arrest, differentiation, and morphological normalization of some tumor cells. We suggest that production of oxygen radicals in mitochondria is necessary for growth factors-MAP-kinase signaling, which supports proliferation and transformed phenotype.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of the mitochondria-targeted, plastoquinone-containing antioxidant SkQ1 on the lifespan of outbred mice and of three strains of inbred mice was studied. To this end, low pathogen (LP) or specific pathogen free (SPF) vivaria in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Stockholm were used. For comparison, we also studied mole-voles and dwarf hamsters, two wild species of small rodents kept under simulated natural conditions. It was found that substitution of a LP vivarium for a conventional (non-LP) one doubled the lifespan of female outbred mice, just as SkQ1 did in a non-LP vivarium. SkQ1 prevented age-dependent disappearance of estrous cycles of outbred mice in both LP and non-LP vivaria. In the SPF vivarium in Moscow, male BALB/c mice had shorter lifespan than females, and SkQ1 increased their lifespan to the values of the females. In the females, SkQ1 retarded development of such trait of aging as heart mass increase. Male C57Bl/6 mice housed individually in the SPF vivarium in Stockholm lived as long as females. SkQ1 increased the male lifespan, the longevity of the females being unchanged. SkQ1 did not change food intake by these mice. Dwarf hamsters and mole-voles kept in outdoor cages or under simulated natural conditions lived longer if treated with SkQ1. The effect of SkQ1 on longevity of females is assumed to mainly be due to retardation of the age-linked decline of the immune system. For males under LP or SPF conditions, SkQ1 increased the lifespan, affecting also some other system(s) responsible for aging.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To develop effective mitochondria-targeted antioxidants composed entirely of natural constituents.
Novel mitochondria-targeted antioxidants were synthesized containing plant electron carrier and antioxidant plastoquinone conjugated by nonyloxycarbonylmethyl residue with berberine or palmatine, penetrating cations of plant origin. These compounds, SkQBerb and SkQPalm, were tested in model planar phospholipid membranes and micelles, liposomes, isolated mitochondria and living cells.
SkQBerb and SkQPalm penetrated across planar bilayer phospholipid membrane in their cationic forms and accumulated in mitochondria isolated or in living human cells in culture. Reduced forms of SkQBerb and SkQPalm as well as C10Berb and C10Palm (SkQBerb and SkQPalm analogs lacking plastoquinol moiety) revealed radical scavenging activity in lipid micelles and liposomes, while oxidized forms were inactive. In isolated mitochondria and in living cells, berberine and palmatine moieties were not reduced, so antioxidant activity of C10Berb and C10Palm was not detected. SkQBerb and SkQPalm inhibited lipid peroxidation in isolated mitochondria at nanomolar concentrations; their prooxidant effect was observed at 1,000 times higher concentrations. In human cell cuture, nanomolar SkQBerb and SkQPalm prevented fragmentation of mitochondria and apoptosis induced by exogenous hydrogen peroxide.
This is the first successful attempt to construct mitochondria-targeted antioxidants composed entirely of natural components, namely plastoquinone, nonyl, acetyl and berberine or palmatine residues.
Pharmaceutical Research 06/2011; 28(11):2883-95. · 4.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plastoquinone, a very effective electron carrier and antioxidant of chloroplasts, was conjugated with decyltriphenylphosphonium to obtain a cation easily penetrating through membranes. This cation, called SkQ1, is specifically targeted to mitochondria by electrophoresis in the electric field formed by the mitochondrial respiratory chain. The respiratory chain also regenerates reduced SkQ1H2 from its oxidized form that appears as a result of the antioxidant activity of SkQ1H2. SkQ1H2 prevents oxidation of cardiolipin, a mitochondrial phospholipid that is especially sensitive to attack by reactive oxygen species (ROS). In cell cultures, SkQ1 and its analog plastoquinonyl decylrhodamine 19 (SkQR1) arrest H2O2-induced apoptosis. When tested in vivo, SkQs (i) prolong the lifespan of fungi, crustaceans, insects, fish, and mice, (ii) suppress appearance of a large number of traits typical for age-related senescence (cataract, retinopathies, achromotrichia, osteoporosis, lordokyphosis, decline of the immune system, myeloid shift of blood cells, activation of apoptosis, induction of β-galactosidase, phosphorylation of H2AX histones, etc.) and (iii) lower tissue damage and save the lives of young animals after treatments resulting in kidney ischemia, rhabdomyolysis, heart attack, arrhythmia, and stroke. We suggest that the SkQs reduce mitochondrial ROS and, as a consequence, inhibit mitochondriamediated apoptosis, an obligatory step of execution of programs responsible for both senescence and fast “biochemical suicide” of an organism after a severe metabolic crisis.
Current Drug Targets 05/2011; 12(6):800-826. · 3.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present state of the art in studies on the mechanisms of antioxidant activities of mitochondria-targeted cationic plastoquinone derivatives (SkQs) is reviewed. Our experiments showed that these compounds can operate as antioxidants in two quite different ways, i.e. (i) by preventing peroxidation of cardiolipin [Antonenko et al., Biochemistry (Moscow) 73 (2008) 1273-1287] and (ii) by fatty acid cycling resulting in mild uncoupling that inhibits the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mitochondrial State 4 [Severin et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107 (2009), 663-668]. The quinol and cationic moieties of SkQ are involved in cases (i) and (ii), respectively. In case (i) SkQH2 interrupts propagation of chain reactions involved in peroxidation of unsaturated fatty acid residues in cardiolipin, the formed SkQ- being reduced back to SkQH2 by heme bH of complex III in an antimycin-sensitive way. Molecular dynamics simulation showed that there are two stable conformations of SkQ1 with the quinol residue localized near peroxyl radicals at C9 or C13 of the linoleate residue in cardiolipin. In mechanism (ii), fatty acid cycling mediated by the cationic SkQ moiety is involved. It consists of (a) transmembrane movement of the fatty acid anion/SkQ cation pair and (b) back flows of free SkQ cation and protonated fatty acid. The cycling results in a protonophorous effect that was demonstrated in planar phospholipid membranes and liposomes. In mitochondria, the cycling gives rise to mild uncoupling, thereby decreasing membrane potential and ROS generation coupled to reverse electron transport in the respiratory chain. In yeast cells, dodecyltriphenylphosphonium (capital ES, Cyrillic12TPP), the cationic part of SkQ1, induces uncoupling that is mitochondria-targeted since capital ES, Cyrillic12TPP is specifically accumulated in mitochondria and increases the H+ conductance of their inner membrane. The conductance of the outer cell membrane is not affected by capital ES, Cyrillic12TPP.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 03/2010; 1797(6-7):878-89. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A unique phenomenon of mitochondria-targeted protonophores is described. It consists in a transmembrane H(+)-conducting fatty acid cycling mediated by penetrating cations such as 10-(6'-plastoquinonyl)decyltriphenylphosphonium (SkQ1) or dodecyltriphenylphosphonium (C(12)TPP). The phenomenon has been modeled by molecular dynamics and directly proved by experiments on bilayer planar phospholipid membrane, liposomes, isolated mitochondria, and yeast cells. In bilayer planar phospholipid membrane, the concerted action of penetrating cations and fatty acids is found to result in conversion of a pH gradient (DeltapH) to a membrane potential (Deltapsi) of the Nernstian value (about 60 mV Deltapsi at DeltapH = 1). A hydrophobic cation with localized charge (cetyltrimethylammonium) failed to substitute for hydrophobic cations with delocalized charge. In isolated mitochondria, SkQ1 and C(12)TPP, but not cetyltrimethylammonium, potentiated fatty acid-induced (i) uncoupling of respiration and phosphorylation, and (ii) inhibition of H(2)O(2) formation. In intact yeast cells, C(12)TPP stimulated respiration regardless of the extracellular pH value, whereas a nontargeted protonophorous uncoupler (trifluoromethoxycarbonylcyanide phenylhydrazone) stimulated respiration at pH 5 but not at pH 3. Hydrophobic penetrating cations might be promising to treat obesity, senescence, and some kinds of cancer that require mitochondrial hyperpolarization.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2010; 107(2):663-8. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effects of 10-(6'-plastoquinonyl) decyltriphenylphosphonium (SkQ1) and 10-(6'-plastoquinonyl) decylrhodamine 19 (SkQR1) on rat models of H2O2- and ischemia-induced heart arrhythmia, heart infarction, kidney ischemia, and stroke have been studied ex vivo and in vivo. In all the models listed, SkQ1 and/or SkQR1 showed pronounced protective effect. Supplementation of food with extremely low SkQ1 amount (down to 0.02 nmol SkQ1/kg per day for 3 weeks) was found to abolish the steady heart arrhythmia caused by perfusion of isolated rat heart with H2O2 or by ischemia/reperfusion. Higher SkQ1 (125-250 nmol/kg per day for 2-3 weeks) was found to decrease the heart infarction region induced by an in vivo ischemia/reperfusion and lowered the blood levels of lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase increasing as a result of ischemia/reperfusion. In single-kidney rats, ischemia/reperfusion of the kidney was shown to kill the majority of the animals in 2-4 days, whereas one injection of SkQ1 or SkQR1 (1 micromol/kg a day before ischemia) saved lives of almost all treated rats. Effect of SkQR1 was accompanied by decrease in ROS (reactive oxygen species) level in kidney cells as well as by partial or complete normalization of blood creatinine and of some other kidney-controlled parameters. On the other hand, this amount of SkQ1 (a SkQ derivative of lower membrane-penetrating ability than SkQR1) saved the life but failed to normalize ROS and creatinine levels. Such an effect indicates that death under conditions of partial kidney dysfunction is mediated by an organ of vital importance other than kidney, the organ in question being an SkQ1 target. In a model of compression brain ischemia/reperfusion, a single intraperitoneal injection of SkQR1 to a rat (1 micromol/kg a day before operation) effectively decreased the damaged brain area. SkQ1 was ineffective, most probably due to lower permeability of the blood-brain barrier to this compound.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitochondria-targeted cationic plastoquinone derivative SkQ1 (10-(6'-plastoquinonyl) decyltriphenylphosphonium) has been investigated as a potential tool for treating a number of ROS-related ocular diseases. In OXYS rats suffering from a ROS-induced progeria, very small amounts of SkQ1 (50 nmol/kg per day) added to food were found to prevent development of age-induced cataract and retinopathies of the eye, lipid peroxidation and protein carbonylation in skeletal muscles, as well as a decrease in bone mineralization. Instillation of drops of 250 nM SkQ1 reversed cataract and retinopathies in 3-12-month-old (but not in 24-month-old) OXYS rats. In rabbits, experimental uveitis and glaucoma were induced by immunization with arrestin and injections of hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose to the eye anterior sector, respectively. Uveitis was found to be prevented or reversed by instillation of 250 nM SkQ1 drops (four drops per day). Development of glaucoma was retarded by drops of 5 microM SkQ1 (one drop daily). SkQ1 was tested in veterinarian practice. A totally of 271 animals (dogs, cats, and horses) suffering from retinopathies, uveitis, conjunctivitis, and cornea diseases were treated with drops of 250 nM SkQ1. In 242 cases, positive therapeutic effect was obvious. Among animals suffering from retinopathies, 89 were blind. In 67 cases, vision returned after SkQ1 treatment. In ex vivo studies of cultivated posterior retina sector, it was found that 20 nM SkQ1 strongly decreased macrophagal transformation of the retinal pigmented epithelial cells, an effect which might explain some of the above SkQ1 activities. It is concluded that low concentrations of SkQ1 are promising in treating retinopathies, cataract, uveitis, glaucoma, and some other ocular diseases.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Synthesis of cationic plastoquinone derivatives (SkQs) containing positively charged phosphonium or rhodamine moieties connected to plastoquinone by decane or pentane linkers is described. It is shown that SkQs (i) easily penetrate through planar, mitochondrial, and outer cell membranes, (ii) at low (nanomolar) concentrations, posses strong antioxidant activity in aqueous solution, BLM, lipid micelles, liposomes, isolated mitochondria, and cells, (iii) at higher (micromolar) concentrations, show pronounced prooxidant activity, the "window" between anti- and prooxidant concentrations being very much larger than for MitoQ, a cationic ubiquinone derivative showing very much lower antioxidant activity and higher prooxidant activity, (iv) are reduced by the respiratory chain to SkQH2, the rate of oxidation of SkQH2 being lower than the rate of SkQ reduction, and (v) prevent oxidation of mitochondrial cardiolipin by OH*. In HeLa cells and human fibroblasts, SkQs operate as powerful inhibitors of the ROS-induced apoptosis and necrosis. For the two most active SkQs, namely SkQ1 and SkQR1, C(1/2) values for inhibition of the H2O2-induced apoptosis in fibroblasts appear to be as low as 1x10(-11) and 8x10(-13) M, respectively. SkQR1, a fluorescent representative of the SkQ family, specifically stains a single type of organelles in the living cell, i.e. energized mitochondria. Such specificity is explained by the fact that it is the mitochondrial matrix that is the only negatively-charged compartment inside the cell. Assuming that the Deltapsi values on the outer cell and inner mitochondrial membranes are about 60 and 180 mV, respectively, and taking into account distribution coefficient of SkQ1 between lipid and water (about 13,000 : 1), the SkQ1 concentration in the inner leaflet of the inner mitochondrial membrane should be 1.3x10(8) times higher than in the extracellular space. This explains the very high efficiency of such compounds in experiments on cell cultures. It is concluded that SkQs are rechargeable, mitochondria-targeted antioxidants of very high efficiency and specificity. Therefore, they might be used to effectively prevent ROS-induced oxidation of lipids and proteins in the inner mitochondrial membrane in vivo.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It was proposed that increased level of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), mediating execution of the aging program of an organism, could also be critical for neoplastic transformation and tumorigenesis. This proposal was addressed using new mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 (10-(6'-plastoquinonyl) decyltriphenylphosphonium) that scavenges ROS in mitochondria at nanomolar concentrations. We found that diet supplementation with SkQ1 (5 nmol/kg per day) suppressed spontaneous development of tumors (predominantly lymphomas) in p53(-/-) mice. The same dose of SkQ1 inhibited the growth of human colon carcinoma HCT116/p53(-/-) xenografts in athymic mice. Growth of tumor xenografts of human HPV-16-associated cervical carcinoma SiHa was affected by SkQ1 only slightly, but survival of tumor-bearing animals was increased. It was also shown that SkQ1 inhibited the tumor cell proliferation, which was demonstrated for HCT116 p53(-/-) and SiHa cells in culture. Moreover, SkQ1 induced differentiation of various tumor cells in vitro. Coordinated SkQ1-initiated changes in cell shape, cytoskeleton organization, and E-cadherin-positive intercellular contacts were observed in epithelial tumor cells. In Ras- and SV40-transformed fibroblasts, SkQ1 was found to initiate reversal of morphological transformation of a malignant type, restoring actin stress fibers and focal adhesion contacts. SkQ1 suppressed angiogenesis in Matrigel implants, indicating that mitochondrial ROS could be important for tumor angiogenesis. This effect, however, was less pronounced in HCT116/p53(-/-) tumor xenografts. We have also shown that SkQ1 and related positively charged antioxidants are substrates of the P-glycoprotein multidrug resistance pump. The lower anti-tumor effect and decreased intracellular accumulation of SkQ1, found in the case of HCT116 xenografts bearing mutant forms of p53, could be related to a higher level of P-glycoprotein. The effects of traditional antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) on tumor growth and tumor cell phenotype were similar to the effects of SkQ1 but more than 1,000,000 times higher doses of NAC than those of SkQ1 were required. Extremely high efficiency of SkQ1, related to its accumulation in the mitochondrial membrane, indicates that mitochondrial ROS production is critical for tumorigenesis at least in some animal models.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Very low (nano- and subnanomolar) concentrations of 10-(6'-plastoquinonyl) decyltriphenylphosphonium (SkQ1) were found to prolong lifespan of a fungus (Podospora anserina), a crustacean (Ceriodaphnia affinis), an insect (Drosophila melanogaster), and a mammal (mouse). In the latter case, median lifespan is doubled if animals live in a non-sterile vivarium. The lifespan increase is accompanied by rectangularization of the survival curves (an increase in survival is much larger at early than at late ages) and disappearance of typical traits of senescence or retardation of their development. Data summarized here and in the preceding papers of this series suggest that mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 is competent in slowing down execution of an aging program responsible for development of age-related senescence.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antioxidants specifically addressed to mitochondria have been studied to determine if they can decelerate senescence of organisms. For this purpose, a project has been established with participation of several research groups from Russia and some other countries. This paper summarizes the first results of the project. A new type of compounds (SkQs) comprising plastoquinone (an antioxidant moiety), a penetrating cation, and a decane or pentane linker has been synthesized. Using planar bilayer phospholipid membrane (BLM), we selected SkQ derivatives with the highest permeability, namely plastoquinonyl-decyl-triphenylphosphonium (SkQ1), plastoquinonyl-decyl-rhodamine 19 (SkQR1), and methylplastoquinonyldecyltriphenylphosphonium (SkQ3). Anti- and prooxidant properties of these substances and also of ubiquinonyl-decyl-triphenylphosphonium (MitoQ) were tested in aqueous solution, detergent micelles, liposomes, BLM, isolated mitochondria, and cell cultures. In mitochondria, micromolar cationic quinone derivatives were found to be prooxidants, but at lower (sub-micromolar) concentrations they displayed antioxidant activity that decreases in the series SkQ1=SkQR1>SkQ3>MitoQ. SkQ1 was reduced by mitochondrial respiratory chain, i.e. it is a rechargeable antioxidant. Nanomolar SkQ1 specifically prevented oxidation of mitochondrial cardiolipin. In cell cultures, SkQR1, a fluorescent SkQ derivative, stained only one type of organelles, namely mitochondria. Extremely low concentrations of SkQ1 or SkQR1 arrested H(2)O(2)-induced apoptosis in human fibroblasts and HeLa cells. Higher concentrations of SkQ are required to block necrosis initiated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). In the fungus Podospora anserina, the crustacean Ceriodaphnia affinis, Drosophila, and mice, SkQ1 prolonged lifespan, being especially effective at early and middle stages of aging. In mammals, the effect of SkQs on aging was accompanied by inhibition of development of such age-related diseases and traits as cataract, retinopathy, glaucoma, balding, canities, osteoporosis, involution of the thymus, hypothermia, torpor, peroxidation of lipids and proteins, etc. SkQ1 manifested a strong therapeutic action on some already pronounced retinopathies, in particular, congenital retinal dysplasia. With drops containing 250 nM SkQ1, vision was restored to 67 of 89 animals (dogs, cats, and horses) that became blind because of a retinopathy. Instillation of SkQ1-containing drops prevented the loss of sight in rabbits with experimental uveitis and restored vision to animals that had already become blind. A favorable effect of the same drops was also achieved in experimental glaucoma in rabbits. Moreover, the SkQ1 pretreatment of rats significantly decreased the H(2)O(2) or ischemia-induced arrhythmia of the isolated heart. SkQs strongly reduced the damaged area in myocardial infarction or stroke and prevented the death of animals from kidney ischemia. In p53(-/-) mice, 5 nmol/kgxday SkQ1 decreased the ROS level in the spleen and inhibited appearance of lymphomas to the same degree as million-fold higher concentration of conventional antioxidant NAC. Thus, SkQs look promising as potential tools for treatment of senescence and age-related diseases.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 12/2008; 1787(5):437-61. · 4.66 Impact Factor