Fluidity of structure and swiveling of helices in the subunit c ring of Escherichia coli ATP synthase as revealed by cysteine-cysteine cross-linking.
ABSTRACT Subunit c in the membrane-traversing F(0) sector of Escherichia coli ATP synthase is known to fold with two transmembrane helices and form an oligomeric ring of 10 or more subunits in the membrane. Models for the E. coli ring structure have been proposed based upon NMR solution structures and intersubunit cross-linking of Cys residues in the membrane. The E. coli models differ from the recent x-ray diffraction structure of the isolated Ilyobacter tartaricus c-ring. Furthermore, key cross-linking results supporting the E. coli model prove to be incompatible with the I. tartaricus structure. To test the applicability of the I. tartaricus model to the E. coli c-ring, we compared the cross-linking of a pair of doubly Cys substituted c-subunits, each of which was compatible with one model but not the other. The key finding of this study is that both A21C/M65C and A21C/I66C doubly substituted c-subunits form high yield oligomeric structures, c(2), c(3)... c(10), via intersubunit disulfide bond formation. The results indicate that helical swiveling, with resultant interconversion of the two conformers predicted by the E. coli and I. tartaricus models, must be occurring over the time course of the cross-linking experiment. In the additional experiments reported here, we tried to ascertain the preferred conformation in the membrane to help define the most likely structural model. We conclude that both structures must be able to form in the membrane, but that the helical swiveling that promotes their interconversion may not be necessary during rotary function.
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ABSTRACT: The c-subunit of the enzyme, ATP synthase couples the proton movement through the a-subunit with its own rotation and subsequent rotation of the F1 ring to drive ATP synthesis. Here, we perform mus time-scale coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of the c-subunit to characterize its structure and dynamics. Two different helix-helix interfaces, albeit with similar interfacial characteristics, are sampled in the simulations. The helix-2 of the c-subunit monomer rotates around the axis of helix-1 bringing about a change in the interface. Previous models have also proposed such a change in the helix interface but postulated that helix-2 swivels around its own axis. Such large-scale changes in helix packing motifs have not been observed before. The helix-swirling persists even in the c-subunit ring but the dynamics is much slower. The cooperative behavior in the ring appears to stabilize a conformation less-populated in the monomer. Analyzing the stability of the c-subunit ring, it was found that six lipid molecules are necessary to fill the central cavity of the ring. These lipid molecules were not aligned with the surrounding bilayer but protruded towards the periplasmic side. The characterization of the monomer and ring presented in this work sheds light into the structural dynamics of the c-subunit and its functional relevance.Molecular Membrane Biology 12/2009; 26(8):422-34. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The majority of cellular energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is synthesized by the ubiquitous F(1)F(0) ATP synthase. Power for ATP synthesis derives from an electrochemical proton (or Na(+)) gradient, which drives rotation of membranous F(0) motor components. Efficient rotation not only requires a significant driving force (DeltamuH(+)), consisting of membrane potential (Deltapsi) and proton concentration gradient (DeltapH), but also a high proton concentration at the source P side. In vivo this is maintained by dynamic proton movements across and along the surface of the membrane. The torque-generating unit consists of the interface of the rotating c ring and the stator a subunit. Ion translocation through this unit involves a sophisticated interplay between the c-ring binding sites, the stator arginine, and the coupling ions on both sides of the membrane. c-ring rotation is transmitted to the eccentric shaft gamma-subunit to elicit conformational changes in the catalytic sites of F(1), leading to ATP synthesis.Annual review of biochemistry 02/2009; 78:649-72. · 29.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The proton pore of the F(1)F(o) ATP synthase consists of a ring of c subunits, which rotates, driven by downhill proton diffusion across the membrane. An essential carboxylate side chain in each subunit provides a proton-binding site. In all the structures of c-rings reported to date, these sites are in a closed, ion-locked state. Structures are here presented of the c(10) ring from Saccharomyces cerevisiae determined at pH 8.3, 6.1 and 5.5, at resolutions of 2.0 Å, 2.5 Å and 2.0 Å, respectively. The overall structure of this mitochondrial c-ring is similar to known homologs, except that the essential carboxylate, Glu59, adopts an open extended conformation. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal that opening of the essential carboxylate is a consequence of the amphiphilic nature of the crystallization buffer. We propose that this new structure represents the functionally open form of the c subunit, which facilitates proton loading and release.Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 04/2012; 19(5):485-91, S1. · 11.90 Impact Factor