- The small molecule IACS-010759 has been reported to potently inhibit the proliferation of glycolysis-deficient hypoxic tumor cells by interfering with the functions of mitochondrial NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) without exhibiting cytotoxicity at tolerated doses in normal cells. Considering the significant cytotoxicity of conventional quinone-site inhibitors of complex I, such as piericidin and acetogenin families, we hypothesized that the mechanism of action of IACS-010759 on complex I differs from that of other known quinone-site inhibitors.
- NADH-quinone oxidoreductase (complex I) couples electron transfer from NADH to quinone with proton translocation across the membrane. Quinone reduction is a key step for energy transmission from the site of quinone reduction to the remotely located proton-pumping machinery of the enzyme. Although structural biology studies have proposed the existence of a long and narrow quinone-access channel, the physiological relevance of this channel remains debatable. We investigated here whether complex I in bovine heart submitochondrial particles (SMPs) can catalytically reduce a series of oversized ubiquinones (OS-UQs), which are highly unlikely to transit the narrow channel because their side chain includes a bulky “block” that is ∼13 Å across.
- Site-specific suppressors of superoxide production (named S1QELs) in the quinone-reaction site in mitochondrial respiratory complex I during reverse electron transfer have been previously reported; however, their mechanism of action remains elusive. Using bovine heart submitochondrial particles, we herein investigated the effects of S1QELs on complex I functions. We found that the inhibitory effects of S1QELs on complex I are distinctly different from those of other known quinone-site inhibitors.
- NADH–quinone oxidoreductase (respiratory complex I) couples NADH-to-quinone electron transfer to the translocation of protons across the membrane. Even though the architecture of the quinone-access channel in the enzyme has been modeled by X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM, conflicting findings raise the question whether the models fully reflect physiologically relevant states present throughout the catalytic cycle. To gain further insights into the structural features of the binding pocket for quinone/inhibitor, we performed chemical biology experiments using bovine heart sub-mitochondrial particles.