Science

History

At the turn of 1960-1970s, in 1969 V.Skulachev and his Moscow State University (MSU) colleagues, in collaboration with Prof. Yefim Liberman’s team (USSR Academy of science) were verifying the chemiosmotic hypothesis proposed by Dr. Peter Mitchell (Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, 1978) who postulated the existence of electric potential difference across the mitochondrial membrane. The results of their work (published in Nature, 1969, 222, 1076-8) suggested that some compounds - lipophilic cations (phosphonium ions for instance) – can be targeted to mitochondria due to the electric field on the mitochondrial membrane as the mitochondrion has a negative charge inside. Those scientists developed a general approach that led to synthesis of hydrophobic ions capable of penetrating mitochondrial membrane.
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Molecule

In 2004, a new substance called SkQ1 was synthesized in the group of professor Vladimir P. Skulachev in the Moscow State University. ” The name SkQ1 was given to the substance as the first representative of a particularly potent class of molecules named “SkQ” – the term introduced by the team to describe molecules containing ion Sk an a quinone.
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Oxidative Stress

Reactive oxygen species, ROS, include oxygen ions, free radicals and peroxides of both organic and nonorganic origin. As a rule those are small molecules that possess a very high ability to interact with other substances (to oxidize them) due to the presence of an unpaired electron in the outer shell.
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Anti-Ageing

It has been hypothesized that age-dependent accumulation of oxidative damages in living organisms may be the main cause of ageing process. It might be possible to control this damage accumulation through controlling the level of ROS production in mitochondria. It is important to stress that ROS production should be controlled, 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).
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