Photochromic coenzyme Q derivatives: switching redox potentials with light†
Coenzyme Q is an important redox cofactor involved in a variety of cellular processes, and is thus found in several cell compartments. We report a photochromic derivative of coenzyme Q that combines the molecular structures of the redox active cofactor and a photochromic dye. Light irradiation triggers an electronic rearrangement reversibly changing the redox potential. We used this effect to control the intermolecular redox reaction of the photochromic coenzyme Q derivative with dihydropyridine in solution by light irradiation. On mitochondria, the altered redox properties showed an effect on the respiratory chain. The experiments demonstrate that the redox reactions can be initiated inside the system of interest through irradiation with light and the accompanied photoisomerization.