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J Biol Chem. 2002 Feb 22;277(8):6097-103. Epub 2001 Dec 14.

Factor B and the mitochondrial ATP synthase complex.

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  • 1Division of Biochemistry, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Factor B is a subunit of the mammalian ATP synthase complex, whose existence has been controversial. This paper describes the molecular and functional properties of a recombinant human factor B, which when added to bovine submitochondrial particles depleted of their factor B restores the energy coupling activity of the ATP synthase complexes. The mature human factor B has 175 amino acids and a molecular mass of 20,341 Da. The preparation is water-soluble, monomeric, and is inactivated by monothiol- and especially dithiol-modifying reagents, probably reacting at its cysteine residues Cys-92 and Cys-94. A likely factor B gene composed of 5 exons has been identified on chromosome 14q21.3, and the functional role of factor B in the mammalian ATP synthase complex has been discussed.

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