Cardiolipin binds selectively but transiently to conserved lysine residues in the rotor of metazoan ATP synthases.

TitleCardiolipin binds selectively but transiently to conserved lysine residues in the rotor of metazoan ATP synthases.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsDuncan, AL, Robinson, AJ, Walker, JE
JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Date Published2016 Aug 2

The anionic lipid cardiolipin is an essential component of active ATP synthases. In metazoans, their rotors contain a ring of eight c-subunits consisting of inner and outer circles of N- and C-terminal α-helices, respectively. The beginning of the C-terminal α-helix contains a strictly conserved and fully trimethylated lysine residue in the lipid head-group region of the membrane. Larger rings of known structure, from c9-c15 in eubacteria and chloroplasts, conserve either a lysine or an arginine residue in the equivalent position. In computer simulations of hydrated membranes containing trimethylated or unmethylated bovine c8-rings and bacterial c10- or c11-rings, the head-groups of cardiolipin molecules became associated selectively with these modified and unmodified lysine residues and with adjacent polar amino acids and with a second conserved lysine on the opposite side of the membrane, whereas phosphatidyl lipids were attracted little to these sites. However, the residence times of cardiolipin molecules with the ring were brief and sufficient for the rotor to turn only a fraction of a degree in the active enzyme. With the demethylated c8-ring and with c10- and c11-rings, the density of bound cardiolipin molecules at this site increased, but residence times were not changed greatly. These highly specific but brief interactions with the rotating c-ring are consistent with functional roles for cardiolipin in stabilizing and lubricating the rotor, and, by interacting with the enzyme at the inlet and exit of the transmembrane proton channel, in participation in proton translocation through the membrane domain of the enzyme.

Alternate JournalProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
Citation Key10.1073/pnas.1608396113
PubMed ID27382158
PubMed Central IDPMC4978264