Mechanical rotation of the c subunit oligomer in ATP synthase (F0F1): Direct observation

  • Sambongi Y
  • Iko Y
  • Tanabe M
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F0F1, found in mitochondria or bacterial membranes, synthesizes adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) coupling with an electrochemical proton gradient and also reversibly hydrolyzes ATP to form the gradient. An actin filament connected to a c subunit oligomer of F0 was able to rotate by using the energy of ATP hydrolysis. The rotary torque produced by the c subunit oligomer reached about 40 piconewton-nanometers, which is similar to that generated by the gamma subunit in the F1 motor. These results suggest that the gamma and c subunits rotate together during ATP hydrolysis and synthesis. Thus, coupled rotation may be essential for energy coupling between proton transport through F0 and ATP hydrolysis or synthesis in F1.

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  • Yoshihiro Sambongi

  • Yuko Iko

  • Mikio Tanabe

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