Structure of the mitochondrial ATP synthase from Pichia angusta determined by electron cryo-microscopy.

TitleStructure of the mitochondrial ATP synthase from Pichia angusta determined by electron cryo-microscopy.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsVinothkumar, KR, Montgomery, MG, Liu, S, Walker, JE
JournalProc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Date Published2016 Oct 24

The structure of the intact monomeric ATP synthase from the fungus, Pichia angusta, has been solved by electron cryo-microscopy. The structure provides insights into the mechanical coupling of the transmembrane proton motive force across mitochondrial membranes in the synthesis of ATP. This mechanism requires a strong and integral stator, consisting of the catalytic α3β3-domain, peripheral stalk, and, in the membrane domain, subunit a and associated supernumerary subunits, kept in contact with the rotor turning at speeds up to 350 Hz. The stator's integrity is ensured by robust attachment of both the oligomycin sensitivity conferral protein (OSCP) to the catalytic domain and the membrane domain of subunit b to subunit a. The ATP8 subunit provides an additional brace between the peripheral stalk and subunit a. At the junction between the OSCP and the apparently stiff, elongated α-helical b-subunit and associated d- and h-subunits, an elbow or joint allows the stator to bend to accommodate lateral movements during the activity of the catalytic domain. The stator may also apply lateral force to help keep the static a-subunit and rotating c10-ring together. The interface between the c10-ring and the a-subunit contains the transmembrane pathway for protons, and their passage across the membrane generates the turning of the rotor. The pathway has two half-channels containing conserved polar residues provided by a bundle of four α-helices inclined at ∼30° to the plane of the membrane, similar to those described in other species. The structure provides more insights into the workings of this amazing machine.

Alternate JournalProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
Citation Key10.1073/pnas.1615902113
PubMed ID27791192
PubMed Central IDPMC5111644
Grant ListMC_EX_MR/M009858/1 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom
MC_U105184322 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom