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J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2005 Apr;37(2):55-66.

F1F0-ATP synthase complex interactions in vivo can occur in the absence of the dimer specific subunit e.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and ARC Centre for Structural and Functional Microbial Genomics, Monash University, Clayton Campus, Victoria 3800, Australia.


Evidence suggests membrane bound F(1)F(0)-ATPase complexes form stable associations such that dimers can be retrieved from detergent lysates of mitochondria isolated from a range of sources including algae, higher plants, yeast and bovine heart, and plant chloroplasts. The physiological relevance of these interactions is not clear but may be connected with the formation and structure of mitochondrial cristae. We sought to demonstrate, in vivo, the association of F(1)F(0)-ATPases in yeast cells co-expressing two b subunits each fused at its C-terminus to a GFP variant appropriate for fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET; BFP as the donor and GFP as the acceptor fluorophore). Both subunit b-GFP and b-BFP fusions were assembled into functional complexes. FRET was observed from enzyme complexes in molecular proximity in respiring cells providing the first demonstration of the association, in vivo, of F(1)F(0)-ATPase complexes. Moreover, FRET was observed within cells lacking the dimer specific subunit e, indicating structured associations can occur within the inner membrane in the absence of subunit e.

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