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Annu Rev Microbiol. 1996;50:791-824.

The F0F1-type ATP synthases of bacteria: structure and function of the F0 complex.

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Universität Osnabrück, Fachbereich Biologie/Chemie, Arbeitsgruppe Mikrobiologie, Germany.


Membrane-bound ATP synthases (F0F1-ATPases) of bacteria serve two important physiological functions. The enzyme catalyzes the synthesis of ATP from ADP and inorganic phosphate utilizing the energy of an electrochemical ion gradient. On the other hand, under conditions of low driving force, ATP synthases function as ATPases, thereby generating a transmembrane ion gradient at the expense of ATP hydrolysis. The enzyme complex consists of two structurally and functionally distinct parts: the membrane-integrated ion-translocating F0 complex and the peripheral F1 complex, which carries the catalytic sites for ATP synthesis and hydrolysis. The ATP synthase of Escherichia coli, which has been the most intensively studied one, is composed of eight different subunits, five of which belong to F1, subunits alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and epsilon (3:3:1:1:1), and three to F0, subunits a, b, and c (1:2:10 +/- 1). The similar overall structure and the high amino acid sequence homology indicate that the mechanism of ion translocation and catalysis and their mode of coupling is the same in all organisms.

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