Molecule of the Month: ATP Synthase
ATP synthase links two rotary motors to generate ATP
Motor to Generator
For information on ATP synthase from a genomics perspective, take a look at the Protein of the Month at the European Bioinformatics Institute.
The F1 Structure
The F0 Structure
Two Heads are Better than One
Exploring the Structure
To determine a structure by cryoelectron microscopy, researchers scatter many copies of the molecule on a surface, and then combine images of thousands of them to build up a coherent structure. In some cases, the molecules adopt several different shapes, so by classifying these images correctly, researchers can observe different conformations of the molecule. With a monomeric form of cow ATP synthase, researchers found seven different rotational states. Three are shown here (PDB entries 5are, 5ari & 5fil), capturing a full rotation. To explore these structures in more detail, click on the image for an interactive JSmol.
Topics for Further Discussion
- Try looking at the PDB-101 topic “Biological Energy” to see other proteins involved in generation and usage of ATP.
Related PDB-101 Resources
- Browse Molecular Motors
- Browse Biological Energy
- Browse Nobel Prizes and PDB structures
- 6b8h: H Guo, SA Bueler & JL Rubinstein (2017) Atomic model for the dimeric FO region of mitochondrial ATP synthase. Science 358: 936-940.
- 5are, 5ari, 5fil: A Zhou, A Rohou, DG Schep, JV Bason, MG Montgomery, JE Walker, N Grigorieff & JL Rubinstein (2015) Structure and conformational states of the bovide mitochondrial ATP synthase by cryo-EM. Elife 4, e10180.
- 2a7u: S Wilkins, D Borchardt, J Weber & AE Senior (2005) Structural characterization of the interaction of the delta and alpha subunits of the Escherichia coli F(1)F(0)-ATP synthase by NMR spectroscopy. Biochemistry 44, 11786-11794.
- G Oster and H Wang (2003) Rotary Protein Motors. Trends in Cell Biology 13, 114-121.
- 1l2p: PA Del Rizzo, Y Bi, SD Dunn & BH Shilton (2002) The “second stalk” of Escherichia coli ATP synthase: structure of the isolated dimerization domain. Biochemistry 41, 6875-6884.
- 1e79: C Gibbons, MG Montgomery, AGW Leslie & JE Walker (2000) The structure of the central stalk in bovine F(1)-ATPase at 2.4 A resolution. Nature Structural Biology 7, 1055.
- G Oster & H Wang (1999) ATP Synthase: Two Motors, Two Fuels. Structure 7, R67-R72.
- 1c17: VK Rastogi & ME Girvin (1999) Structural changes linked to proton translocation by subunit c of the ATP synthase. Nature 402, 263-268.
- PD Boyer (1997) The ATP Synthase--A Splendid Molecular Machine. Annual Review of Biochemistry 66, 717-749.
December 2005, David Goodselldoi:10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2005_12