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Eur J Biochem. 1992 Apr 1;205(1):409-16.

Plant mitochondrial F0F1 ATP synthase. Identification of the individual subunits and properties of the purified spinach leaf mitochondrial ATP synthase.

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Department of Biochemistry, Arrhenius Laboratories, Stockholm University, Sweden.


Spinach leaf mitochondrial F0F1 ATPase has been purified and is shown to consist of twelve polypeptides. Five of the polypeptides constitute the F1 part of the enzyme. The remaining polypeptides, with molecular masses of 28 kDa, 23 kDa, 18.5 kDa, 15 kDa, 10.5 kDa, 9.5 kDa and 8.5 kDa, belong to the F0 part of the enzyme. This is the first report concerning identification of the subunits of the plant mitochondrial F0. The identification of the components is achieved on the basis of the N-terminal amino acid sequence analysis and Western blot technique using monospecific antibodies against proteins characterized in other sources. The 28-kDa protein crossreacts with antibodies against the subunit of bovine heart ATPase with N-terminal Pro-Val-Pro- which corresponds to subunit F0b of Escherichia coli F0F1. Sequence analysis of the N-terminal 32 amino acids of the 23-kDa protein reveals that this protein is similar to mammalian oligomycin-sensitivity-conferring protein and corresponds to the F1 delta subunit of the chloroplast and E. coli ATPases. The 18.5-kDa protein crossreacts with antibodies against subunit 6 of the beef heart F0 and its N-terminal sequence of 14 amino acids shows a high degree of sequence similarity to the conserved regions at N-terminus of the ATPase subunits 6 from different sources. ATPase subunit 6 corresponds to subunit F0a of the E. coli enzyme. The 15-kDa protein and the 10.5-kDa protein crossreact with antibodies against F6 and the endogenous ATPase inhibitor protein of beef heart F0F1-ATPase, respectively. The 9.5-kDa protein is an N,N'-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide-binding protein corresponding to subunit F0c of the E. coli enzyme. The 8.5-kDa protein is of unknown identity. The isolated spinach mitochondrial F0F1 ATPase catalyzes oligomycin-sensitive ATPase activity of 3.5 The enzyme catalyzes also hydrolysis of GTP (7.5 and ITP (4.4 Hydrolysis of ATP was stimulated fivefold in the presence of amphiphilic detergents, however the hydrolysis of other nucleotides could not be stimulated by these agents. These results show that the plant mitochondrial F0F1 ATPase complex differs in composition from the other mitochondrial, chloroplast and bacterial ATPases. The enzyme is, however, more closely related to the yeast mitochondrial ATPase and to the animal mitochondrial ATPase than to the chloroplast enzyme. The plant mitochondrial enzyme, however, exhibits catalytic properties which are characteristic for the chloroplast enzyme.

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