The non-coupled substrate oxidation mediated by components of the electron transport chain that are not coupled to energy accumulation (such as plant alternative oxidase and rotenone-insensitive NADH dehydrogenases) and uncoupled respiration are peculiar features of plant mitochondria. The physiological significance of such energy-wasting oxidation processes is still debated. It is proposed that non-coupled oxidation could regulate the level of reduction of components of the electron transport chain and the rate of one-electron reduction of oxygen, thereby affecting the rate of formation of reactive oxygen species.
Abbreviations used: CoQ, coenzyme Q; ROS, reactive oxygen species.
679th Meeting of the Biochemical Society held at the University of Essex, Colchester, 2–4 July 2003