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Biophys J. 1998 Nov;75(5):2212-9.

A model of the quaternary structure of the Escherichia coli F1 ATPase from X-ray solution scattering and evidence for structural changes in the delta subunit during ATP hydrolysis.

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Hamburg Outstation, D-22603 Hamburg, Germany.


The shape and subunit arrangement of the Escherichia coli F1 ATPase (ECF1 ATPase) was investigated by synchrotron radiation x-ray solution scattering. The radius of gyration and the maximum dimension of the enzyme complex are 4.61 +/- 0.03 nm and 15.5 +/- 0.05 nm, respectively. The shape of the complex was determined ab initio from the scattering data at a resolution of 3 nm, which allowed unequivocal identification of the volume occupied by the alpha3beta3 subassembly and further positioning of the atomic models of the smaller subunits. The delta subunit was positioned near the bottom of the alpha3beta3 hexamer in a location consistent with a beta-delta disulfide formation in the mutant ECF1 ATPase, betaY331W:betaY381C:epsilonS108C, when MgADP is bound to the enzyme. The position and orientation of the epsilon subunit were found by interactively fitting the solution scattering data to maintain connection of the two-helix hairpin with the alpha3beta3 complex and binding of the beta-sandwich domain to the gamma subunit. Nucleotide-dependent changes of the delta subunit were investigated by stopped-flow fluorescence technique at 12 degrees C using N-[4-[7-(dimethylamino)-4-methyl]coumarin-3-yl]maleimide (CM) as a label. Fluorescence quenching monitored after addition of MgATP was rapid [k = 6.6 s-1] and then remained constant. Binding of MgADP and the noncleavable nucleotide analog AMP . PNP caused an initial fluorescent quenching followed by a slower decay back to the original level. This suggests that the delta subunit undergoes conformational changes and/or rearrangements in the ECF1 ATPase during ATP hydrolysis.

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