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J Biol Chem. 2010 Dec 31;285(53):42058-67. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.176701. Epub 2010 Oct 25.

Single molecule behavior of inhibited and active states of Escherichia coli ATP synthase F1 rotation.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Futai Special Laboratory, Iwate Medical University, Yahaba, Iwate 028-3694, Japan.


ATP hydrolysis-dependent rotation of the F(1) sector of the ATP synthase is a successive cycle of catalytic dwells (∼0.2 ms at 24 °C) and 120° rotation steps (∼0.6 ms) when observed under V(max) conditions using a low viscous drag 60-nm bead attached to the γ subunit (Sekiya, M., Nakamoto, R. K., Al-Shawi, M. K., Nakanishi-Matsui, M., and Futai, M. (2009) J. Biol. Chem. 284, 22401-22410). During the normal course of observation, the γ subunit pauses in a stochastic manner to a catalytically inhibited state that averages ∼1 s in duration. The rotation behavior with adenosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) as the substrate or at a low ATP concentration (4 μM) indicates that the rotation is inhibited at the catalytic dwell when the bound ATP undergoes reversible hydrolysis/synthesis. The temperature dependence of rotation shows that F(1) requires ∼2-fold higher activation energy for the transition from the active to the inhibited state compared with that for normal steady-state rotation during the active state. Addition of superstoichiometric ε subunit, the inhibitor of F(1)-ATPase, decreases the rotation rate and at the same time increases the duration time of the inhibited state. Arrhenius analysis shows that the ε subunit has little effect on the transition between active and inhibited states. Rather, the ε subunit confers lower activation energy of steady-state rotation. These results suggest that the ε subunit plays a role in guiding the enzyme through the proper and efficient catalytic and transport rotational pathway but does not influence the transition to the inhibited state.

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