A zinc enzyme, specific for NADPH. Catalyses the one-electron reduction of certain quinones, with the orthoquinones 1,2-naphthoquinone and 9,10-phenanthrenequinone being the best substrates . Dicoumarol [cf. EC 126.96.36.199
NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (quinone)] and nitrofurantoin are competitive inhibitors with respect to the quinone substrate. The semiquinone free-radical product may be non-enzymically reduced to the hydroquinone or oxidized back to quinone in the presence of O2 . In some mammals, the enzyme is abundant in the lens of the eye, where it is identified with the protein zeta-crystallin.