Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 531–540 | Cite as

Effectors of the mammalian plasma membrane NADH-oxidoreductase system. Short-chain ubiquinone analogues as potent stimulators

  • FranÇois Vaillant
  • Jari A. Larm
  • Gabrielle L. McMullen
  • Ernst J. Wolvetang
  • Alfons Lawen
Research Articles


In the presence of effectors variations in the two recognized activities of the plasma membrane NADH-oxidoreductase system were studied in separate, specificin vitro assays. We report here that ubiquinone analogues that contain a short, less hydrophobic side chain than coenzyme Q-10 dramatically stimulate the NADH-oxidase activity of isolated rat liver plasma membranes whereas they show no effect on the reductase activity of isolated membranes. If measured in assays of the NADH∶ferricyanide reductase of living cultured cells these compounds have only a limited effect; the oxidase activity of whole cells is not measurable in our hands. We have furthermore identified selective inhibitors of both enzyme activities. In particular, the NADH-oxidase activity can be significantly inhibited by structural analogues of ubiquinone, such as capsaicin and resiniferatoxin. The NADH∶ferricyanide reductase, on the other hand, is particularly sensitive to pCMBS, indicating the presence of a sulfhydryl group or groups at its active site. The identification of these specific effectors of the different enzyme activities of the PMOR yields further insights into the function of this system.

Key words

Plasma membrane NADH-oxidoreductase NADH-oxidase NADH∶ferricyanide reductase ubiquinone analogues ρ0 cells 

Abbreviations used




5,5′-dithio-bis(2-nitrobenzoic acid)


ferric ammonium citrate


p-chloromercuriphenylsulfonic acid


plasma membrane NADH-oxidoreductase

coenzyme Q-0



sulfhydryl group


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • FranÇois Vaillant
    • 1
  • Jari A. Larm
    • 1
  • Gabrielle L. McMullen
    • 1
  • Ernst J. Wolvetang
    • 1
  • Alfons Lawen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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