Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Evidence for a relation between plasma membrane coenzyme Q and autism
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Voltage Dependent Anion Channel (VDAC) in the cell membrane transports important molecules and ions across the cell membrane. It was recently shown that VDAC also acts as a trans membrane NADH dehydrogenase. A recent study showed that autistic children have increased antibodies to VDAC proteins and such a binding inhibits both the transport and dehydrogenase activities of VDAC. The derived function of VDAC, therefore, might underlie the development of autism. It has also recently been shown that the dehydrogenase in erythrocyte membranes requires coenzyme Q. Since the plasma membrane oxidase is not in erythrocyte membranes, the coenzyme Q requirement must be for VDAC. This is consistent with sensitivity of the dehydrogenase to SH inhibitors. This is a novel site for coenzyme Q function but it has an analogy with the Q requirement for the mitochondrial uncoupler protein and the permeability transition pore.