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Biochemistry. 2005 Dec 6;44(48):15906-14.

Peripheral stator of the yeast V-ATPase: stoichiometry and specificity of interaction between the EG complex and subunits C and H.

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  • 1Structural and Computational Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.


V-ATPases are multisubunit membrane protein complexes that use the energy provided by ATP hydrolysis to generate a proton gradient across various intracellular and plasma membranes. In doing so, they maintain an acidic pH in the lumen of intracellular organelles and acidify extracellular milieu to support specific cellular functions. V-ATPases are structurally similar to the F1F0-ATP synthase, with an intrinsic membrane domain (V0) and an extrinsic peripheral domain (V1) joined by several connecting elements. To gain a clear functional understanding of the catalytic mechanism, and of the stability requirements for regulatory processes in the enzyme, a clear topology of the enzyme has to be established. In particular, the composition and arrangement of the peripheral stator subunits must be firmly settled, as these play specific roles in catalysis and regulation. We have designed a strategy allowing us to coexpress different combinations of these subunits to delineate specific interactions. In this study, we report the interaction between the peripheral stator EG complex and subunits C and H of the V-ATPase from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisae. A combination of analytical gel filtration, native gel electrophoresis, and ultracentrifugation analysis allowed us to ascertain the homogeneity and molar mass of the purified EGC complex as well as of the EG complex, supporting the formation of 1:1(:1) stoichiometric complexes. The EGC complex can be formed in vitro by combining equimolar amounts of subunit C and the EG subcomplex and results most likely from the initial interaction between subunits E and C.

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