Vladimir Skulachev has shown that SKQ1 could penetrate into mitochondria and affect oxidants (most antioxidants, including the ones in your health supplements, do not enter mitochondria in dose amounts). He and his colleagues then demonstrated that SKQ1 could extend the lives of fungus, crustaceans, insects, and mice. The latter is the most exciting, and Skulachev’s team claims to have extended median lifespan by 100%
Vladamir Skulachev’s group synthesized an antioxidant attached to a positively charged ion, which they call SkQ1. This compound can readily pass through the cell membrane and travel to the mitochondrial intermembrane space, the only negatively charged region in the cell. There, SkQ1 will soak up any ROS formed by the electron transport chain. SkQ1 works similarly to the popular MitoQ, but does not have the pro-oxidant properties MitoQ is known to have at higher concentrations. SkQ1 is also better than MitoQ at inhibiting apoptosis induced by hydrogen peroxide. Studies by the group also showed that SkQ1 proved beneficial for heart and cardiovascular disease , tumor growth, and cataracts.
Fighting aging indicates that the science is valid.
Mitochondrially targeted antioxidants do seem to have broad application: sepsis, wound healing, and so forth. A quick check of PubMed, searching for “mitochondria glaucoma” would show plenty of research on the topic of mitochondrial damage and its role in the pathology of glaucoma. The broad potential use of SkQ1 and other mitochondrial antioxidants only underscores the importance of mitochondria to our biology
FightingAging is not expecting SkQ1 and other mitochondrially targeted antioxidants to greatly extend life span in humans. This is for much the same reasons that other methods of extending mouse life span – such as calorie restriction – that are known to cause changes in mitochondrial metabolism are also not expected to do much for humans. As a general rule, if a way to alter metabolism extends life by 30% in mice, we shouldn’t expect it to extend human life span more than a decade in the best case. This, at least, seems to be the present consensus – ever ready to be overturned, as are all consensuses in science.
The SKQ1 research is far more impressive than anything to come out of calorie restriction mimetics to date.
They are about to start human trials.
Fighting Aging also talks about paths to the development of mitochondrailly targeted antioxidants
Antioxidant compounds can extend life in mice provided they are localized to the mitochondria – which doesn’t happen for anything you can presently buy in a bottle. Near all antioxidants that can be ingested, injected, or otherwise introduced into the body do nothing of any great significance to healthy life span, and may even be detrimental by interfering in the processes of hormesis that help to maintain and improve health.
A group in Russia has been quite active in working on SkQ1, an ingested compound that targets mitochondria, and Australian researchers have a similar chemical under development.
Since the FDA does not allow aging to be the target of treatment-
For the targeted antioxidant development, two potential lines of within-the-system development spring to mind. Firstly, as a therapy for sepsis and secondly, it appears that wound healing, and especially in the old, may benefit from mitochondrially targeted antioxidants.
Eric Drexler also discusses mitochondria and autophagy and the substance Trehalose.