Coenzyme Q10 is an essential cofactor in the respiratory chain and serves as a potent antioxidant in biological membranes. Recent studies in vitro and in vivo provide evidence that Coenzyme Q10 is involved in inflammatory processes and lipid metabolism via gene expression. To study these effects at the epigenomic level, C57BL6J mice were supplemented for one week with reduced Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol). Afterwards, gene expression signatures and DNA promoter methylation patterns of selected genes were analysed. Genome-wide transcript profiling in the liver identified 1112 up-regulated and 571 down-regulated transcripts as differentially regulated between ubiquinol-treated and control animals. Text mining and GeneOntology analysis revealed that the “top 20” ubiquinol-regulated genes play a role in lipid metabolism and are functionally connected by the PPARα signalling pathway. With regard to the ubiquinol-induced changes in gene expression of about +3.14-fold (p≤0.05), +2.18-fold (p≤0.01), and −2.13-fold (p≤0.05) for ABCA1, ACYP1, and ACSL1 genes, respectively, hepatic DNA methylation analysis of 282 (sense orientation) and 271 (antisense) CpG units in the respective promoter islands revealed no significant effect of ubiquinol. In conclusion, ubiquinol affects the expression of genes involved in PPARα signalling and lipid metabolism without changing the promoter DNA methylation status in the liver of mice.
2012 by The Editorial Secretariat of JCBN