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A few years ago a small molecule SkQ1 was synthesized by the group of professor Vladimir P. Skulachev at the Moscow State University. One part of SkQ1 functions as a molecular “tow truck” carrying the other part of the molecule – an extremely active antioxidant plastoquinone – into mitochondria. Both theoretical calculations and experimental results showed that SkQ1 was delivered into the mitochondria in an extremely targeted and efficient manner. The physics of the mitochondrial membrane and the unique properties of SkQ1 direct it into the inner leaflet of the inner mitochondrial membrane with high precision.
The presence of SkQ1 in the mitochondrial membrane enables mitochondria to protect themselves from reactive oxygen species (ROS) by breaking the chain reaction of lipid destruction. This ability of the lead molecule to protect cells against oxidative stress is the key to treating patients suffering from various age-related disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, and ophthalmic conditions.
It has been hypothesized that age-dependent accumulation of oxidative damages in living organisms may be the main cause of the aging process. It might be possible to control this damage accumulation by controlling the level of ROS production in mitochondria. It is important to stress that ROS production should be controlled and not stopped so that ROS can still fulfill a number of crucial biological functions. For instance, they fight bacteria and viruses, both directly – via elimination of pathogens, – and indirectly – via regulation of the immunological response to infection through triggering apoptosis (cell death).
Antioxidants are a well-developed pharmacological approach to fight against ROS. A possible role of antioxidants in controlling the aging process has widely and for a long time been discussed with ambiguous conclusions, ranging from the statement of the American biochemist Prof. Bruce Ames and colleagues on finding a new anti-aging therapy with a 100% positive result to D. Howes’s implication of the utter barrenness of this method, and, therefore, of total failure of Harman’s “free radical” hypothesis. According to Dr. Skulachev, the antioxidant−based aging control approach has some significant flaws.
The “ideal” antioxidant should be specifically targeted to mitochondria where ROS are produced and it should effectively remove not all the ROS but just their excess. It is also important for an antioxidant not to be toxic and not to be recognized and eliminated by cell enzymes.
With these criteria fulfilled, a successful anti-oxidant compound should be able to prevent/repair oxidative damage in the organism and prevent/treat many age-related disorders across various therapeutic areas.
The mechanism of action of SkQ1 involves at least two extremely complex and novel concepts: delivering a compound inside mitochondria and reducing ROS production inside mitochondria in a controlled and sustainable manner. SkQ1 molecule successfully addresses these two aspects as our experimental work has shown.
More than a dozen studies have been conducted and showed SkQ1 effectiveness in such critical therapeutic areas as the following:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD);
- Dry eye syndrome (DES);
- Non-infectious uveitis;
Produced by Mitotech, Russia.
Note: The product should be kept in the fridge after receiving it.