Vacuolar ATPases: rotary proton pumps in physiology and pathophysiology

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Nov;8(11):917-29. doi: 10.1038/nrm2272.


The acidity of intracellular compartments and the extracellular environment is crucial to various cellular processes, including membrane trafficking, protein degradation, bone resorption and sperm maturation. At the heart of regulating acidity are the vacuolar (V-)ATPases--large, multisubunit complexes that function as ATP-driven proton pumps. Their activity is controlled by regulating the assembly of the V-ATPase complex or by the dynamic regulation of V-ATPase expression on membrane surfaces. The V-ATPases have been implicated in a number of diseases and, coupled with their complex isoform composition, represent attractive and potentially highly specific drug targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Disease*
  • Humans
  • Proton Pumps / metabolism*
  • Protons
  • Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases / chemistry
  • Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases / metabolism*


  • Proton Pumps
  • Protons
  • Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases