This lentiviral vector carries the AOX cDNA encoding an alternative oxidase (sequence from Ciona intestinalis genome, DM193474.1, 1110 pb). This alternative oxidase is part of the electron transport chain in mitochondria. It contributes to the reduction of ROS production when overexpressed in mammalian cells.

alternative oxidation pathway

AOX: Alternative Oxidase

Coenzyme Q: Ubiquinone

C: Cytochrome c

Complex I: NADH coenzyme Q reductase

Complex II: Succinate dehydrogenase

Complex III: cytochrome bc1 complex

Complex IV: Cytochrome c oxidase

Complex V: ATP synthase


In normal conditions, the AOX is inactive and thus doesn’t interfere with the normal electron flow from complex I to complex IV. However, when CIII and/or CIV are blocked, the electron flow is blocked and the Quinone pool becomes highly reduced which activates the AOX. The activation of the AOX in these situations allows:

  • To bypass complexes III and IV and maintain oxygen consumption
  • To prevent the over-reduction of the ubiquinone pool and thus ROS overproduction.

Examples of Applications

  • Use in vitro or in vivo to study oxidative stress mechanisms
  • Use for highly efficient transgenesis


pubmed 23300486

Alternative oxidase expression in the mouse enables bypassing cytochrome c oxidase blockade and limits mitochondrial ROS overproduction.

More than 95% efficiency in mice with GEG Tech vectors