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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2007 Nov;5(11):892-9.

Inventing the dynamo machine: the evolution of the F-type and V-type ATPases.

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School of Physics, University of Osnabrück, Osnabrück D-49069, Germany.


The rotary proton- and sodium-translocating ATPases are reversible molecular machines present in all cellular life forms that couple ion movement across membranes with ATP hydrolysis or synthesis. Sequence and structural comparisons of F- and V-type ATPases have revealed homology between their catalytic and membrane subunits, but not between the subunits of the central stalk that connects the catalytic and membrane components. Based on this pattern of homology, we propose that these ATPases originated from membrane protein translocases, which, themselves, evolved from RNA translocases. We suggest that in these ancestral translocases, the position of the central stalk was occupied by the translocated polymer.

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