The main and best known role of the mitochondrial ATP synthase is to synthesize ATP by exploiting the transmembrane electrochemical gradient of protons and their downhill movement. However, under different conditions, the same enzyme can also switch to the opposite function of ATP hydrolysis and exploits its energy to pump protons against their gradient and energize the membrane. The change in functionality is linked to the change of direction of rotation of the two matched sectors of this unique complex, namely the hydrophilic F1, which performs the catalysis, and the hydrophobic membraneembedded FO, which channels protons. Accordingly, viewed from the matrix side, ATP synthesis is driven by counterclockwise rotation and ATP hydrolysis by clockwise rotation of the FO rotor which is transmitted to F1. ATP dissipation through this mechanism features some diseases such as myocardial ischemia. Increasing evidence shoulders the hypothesis that the asymmetry of the a subunit of FO and particularly the steric arrangement of the two inner semi-channels for protons, play a key role in conferring to the coupled bi-functional complex the ability to reverse rotation by switching from ATP synthesis to ATP hydrolysis and vice versa. Accordingly, the conserved steric arrangement of the chiral a subunit of FO yields the same direction of rotation for all the ATP synthases. According to this hypothesis, the a subunit chirality imposes the direction of rotation of the rotor according to the proton gradient across the membrane. It seems likely that the direction of rotation of the membrane-embedded c-ring, which is adjacent to the a-subunit and acts as a rotor, may be under multiple control, being rotation essential to make the whole enzyme machinery work. However, the asymmetric features of the a subunit would make it the master regulator, thus directly determining which of the two functions, ATP production or ATP dissipation, will be performed. The handedness of a subunit should be considered in drug design to counteract tissue damage under all pathological conditions linked to functional impairment of ATP synthase.

The a subunit asymmetry dictates the two opposite rotation directions in the synthesis and hydrolysis of ATP by the mitochondrial ATP synthase

NESCI, SALVATORE;TROMBETTI, FABIANA;VENTRELLA, VITTORIA;PAGLIARANI, ALESSANDRA
2015

Abstract

The main and best known role of the mitochondrial ATP synthase is to synthesize ATP by exploiting the transmembrane electrochemical gradient of protons and their downhill movement. However, under different conditions, the same enzyme can also switch to the opposite function of ATP hydrolysis and exploits its energy to pump protons against their gradient and energize the membrane. The change in functionality is linked to the change of direction of rotation of the two matched sectors of this unique complex, namely the hydrophilic F1, which performs the catalysis, and the hydrophobic membraneembedded FO, which channels protons. Accordingly, viewed from the matrix side, ATP synthesis is driven by counterclockwise rotation and ATP hydrolysis by clockwise rotation of the FO rotor which is transmitted to F1. ATP dissipation through this mechanism features some diseases such as myocardial ischemia. Increasing evidence shoulders the hypothesis that the asymmetry of the a subunit of FO and particularly the steric arrangement of the two inner semi-channels for protons, play a key role in conferring to the coupled bi-functional complex the ability to reverse rotation by switching from ATP synthesis to ATP hydrolysis and vice versa. Accordingly, the conserved steric arrangement of the chiral a subunit of FO yields the same direction of rotation for all the ATP synthases. According to this hypothesis, the a subunit chirality imposes the direction of rotation of the rotor according to the proton gradient across the membrane. It seems likely that the direction of rotation of the membrane-embedded c-ring, which is adjacent to the a-subunit and acts as a rotor, may be under multiple control, being rotation essential to make the whole enzyme machinery work. However, the asymmetric features of the a subunit would make it the master regulator, thus directly determining which of the two functions, ATP production or ATP dissipation, will be performed. The handedness of a subunit should be considered in drug design to counteract tissue damage under all pathological conditions linked to functional impairment of ATP synthase.
Salvatore Nesci; Fabiana Trombetti; Vittoria Ventrella; Alessandra Pagliarani
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/420966
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 2
  • Scopus 4
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 5
social impact