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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 May 1;1505(1):108-20.

The Na(+) cycle in Acetobacterium woodii: identification and characterization of a Na(+) translocating F(1)F(0)-ATPase with a mixed oligomer of 8 and 16 kDa proteolipids.

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Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie der LMU München, Maria-Ward-Strasse 1a, 80638, Munich, Germany.


The homoacetogenic bacterium Acetobacterium woodii relies on a sodium ion current across its cytoplasmic membrane for energy-dependent reactions. The sodium ion potential is established by a yet to be identified primary, electrogenic pump connected to the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway. Reactions possibly involved in Na(+) export are discussed. The electrochemical sodium ion potential generated is used to drive endergonic reactions such as flagellar rotation and ATP synthesis. Biochemical and molecular data identified the Na(+)-ATPase of A. woodii as a typical member of the F(1)F(0) class of ATPases. Its catalytic properties and the hypothetical sodium ion binding site in subunit c are discussed. The encoding genes were cloned and, surprisingly, the atp operon was shown to contain multiple copies of genes encoding subunit c. Two copies encode identical 8 kDa proteolipids, and a third copy arose by duplication and subsequent fusion of two genes. Furthermore, the duplicated subunit c does not contain the ion binding site in hair pin two. Biochemical and molecular data revealed that all three copies of subunit c constitute a mixed oligomer. The evolution of the structure and function of subunit c in ATPases from eucarya, bacteria, and archaea is discussed.

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