The multi-subunit vacuolar-type H(+)-ATPase consists of a V(1) domain (A-H subunits) catalyzing ATP hydrolysis and a V(0) domain (a, c, c', c", d, e) responsible for H(+) translocation. The mammalian V(0) d subunit is one of the least-well characterized, and its function and position within the pump are still unclear. It has two different forms encoded by separate genes, d1 being ubiquitous while d2 is predominantly expressed at the cell surface in kidney and osteoclast. To determine whether it forms part of the pump's central stalk as suggested by bacterial A-ATPase studies, or is peripheral as hypothesized from a yeast model, we investigated both human d subunit isoforms. In silico structural modelling demonstrated that human d1 and d2 are structural orthologues of bacterial subunit C, despite poor sequence identity. Expression studies of d1 and d2 showed that each can pull down the central stalk's D and F subunits from human kidney membrane, and in vitro studies using D and F further showed that the interactions between these proteins and the d subunit is direct. These data indicate that the d subunit in man is centrally located within the pump and is thus important in its rotary mechanism.