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J Bacteriol. 2003 Jan;185(2):674-8.

Experimental verification of a sequence-based prediction: F(1)F(0)-type ATPase of Vibrio cholerae transports protons, not Na(+) ions.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


The membrane energetics of the intestinal pathogen Vibrio cholerae involves both H(+) and Na(+) as coupling ions. The sequence of the c subunit of V. cholerae F(0)F(1) ATPase suggested that this enzyme is H(+) specific, in contrast to the results of previous studies on the Na(+)-dependent ATP synthesis in closely related Vibrio spp. Measurements of the pH gradient and membrane potential in membrane vesicles isolated from wild-type and DeltaatpE mutant V. cholerae show that the F(1)F(0) ATPase of V. cholerae is an H(+), not Na(+), pump, confirming the bioinformatics assignments that were based on the Na(+)-binding model of S. Rahlfs and V. Müller (FEBS Lett. 404:269-271, 1999). Application of this model to the AtpE sequences from other bacteria and archaea indicates that Na(+)-specific F(1)F(0) ATPases are present in a number of important bacterial pathogens.

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