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J Biol Chem. 2002 Feb 8;277(6):3965-72. Epub 2001 Nov 27.

Mutations in subunit C of the vacuolar ATPase confer resistance to bafilomycin and identify a conserved antibiotic binding site.

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Department of Molecular, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA.


Bafilomycin A1, a potent inhibitor of vacuolar H(+)-ATPases (V-ATPase), inhibited growth of Neurospora crassa in medium adjusted to alkaline pH. Ninety-eight mutant strains were selected for growth on medium (pH 7.2) containing 0.3 or 1.0 microm bafilomycin. Three criteria suggested that 11 mutant strains were altered in the V-ATPase: 1) these strains accumulated high amounts of arginine when grown at pH 5.8 in the presence of bafilomycin, 2) the mutation mapped to the locus of vma-3, which encodes the proteolipid subunit c of the V-ATPase, and 3) V-ATPase activity in purified vacuolar membranes was resistant to bafilomycin. Sequencing of the genomic DNA encoding vma-3 identified the following mutations: T32I (two strains), F136L (two strains), Y143H (two strains), and Y143N (five strains). Characterization of V-ATPase activity in the four kinds of mutant strains showed that the enzyme was resistant to bafilomycin in vitro, with half-maximal inhibition obtained at 80-400 nm compared with 6.3 nm for the wild-type enzyme. Surprisingly, the mutant enzymes showed only weak resistance to concanamycin. Interestingly, the positions of two mutations corresponded to positions of oligomycin-resistant mutations in the c subunit of F(1)F(0)-ATP synthases (F-ATPases), suggesting that bafilomycin and oligomycin utilize a similar binding site and mechanism of inhibition in the related F- and V-ATPases.

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