Melittin, a cationic, amphiphilic polypeptide, has been reported to inhibit the ATPase activity of the catalytic portions of the mitochondrial (MF1) and chloroplast (CF1) ATP synthases. Gledhill and Walker [J.R. Gledhill, J.E. Walker. Inhibition sites in F1-ATPase from bovine heart mitochondria, Biochem. J. 386 (2005) 591-598.] suggested that melittin bound to the same site on MF1 as IF1, the endogenous inhibitor polypeptide. We have studied the inhibition of the ATPase activity of CF1 and of F1 from Escherichia coli (ECF1) by melittin and the cationic detergent, cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). The Ca2+- and Mg2+-ATPase activities of CF1 deficient in its inhibitory ε subunit (CF1-ε) are sensitive to inhibition by melittin and by CTAB. The inhibition of Ca2+-ATPase activity by CTAB is irreversible. The Ca2+-ATPase activity of F1 from E. coli (ECF1) is inhibited by melittin and the detergent, but Mg2+-ATPase activity is much less sensitive to both reagents. The addition of CTAB or melittin to a solution of CF1-ε or ECF1 caused a large increase in the fluorescence of the hydrophobic probe, N-phenyl-1-naphthylamine, indicating that the detergent and melittin cause at least partial dissociation of the enzymes. ATP partially protects CF1-ε from inhibition by CTAB. We also show that ATP can cause the aggregation of melittin. This result complicates the interpretation of experiments in which ATP is shown to protect enzyme activity from inhibition by melittin. It is concluded that melittin and CTAB cause at least partial dissociation of the α/β heterohexamer. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Datiles, M. J., Johnson, E. A., & McCarty, R. E. (2008). Inhibition of the ATPase activity of the catalytic portion of ATP synthases by cationic amphiphiles. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics, 1777(4), 362–368. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbabio.2008.01.010