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Eur J Biochem. 1991 Feb 26;196(1):225-9.

ATP synthesis in chromatophores driven by artificially induced ion gradients.

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Department of Biology, University of Bologna, Italy.


An electrochemical potential difference for protons (delta mu H+) across the membrane of bacterial chromatophores was induced by an artificially generated pH difference (delta pH) and a K+/valinomycin diffusion potential, delta phi. The initial rate of ATP synthesis was measured with a rapid-mixing quenched-flow apparatus in the time range between 70 ms and 30 s after the acid-base transition. The rate of ATP synthesis depends exponentially on delta pH. Increasing diffusion potentials shift the delta pH dependency to lower delta pH values. Diffusion potentials were calculated from the Goldman equation. Using estimated permeability coefficients, the rate of ATP synthesis depends only on the electrochemical potential difference of protons irrespective of the relative contribution of delta pH and delta phi.

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