F1F0-ATP synthases are multimeric protein complexes and common prerequisites for their correct assembly are (i) provision of subunits in appropriate relative amounts, (ii) coordination of membrane insertion and (iii) avoidance of assembly intermediates that uncouple the proton gradient or wastefully hydrolyse ATP. Accessory factors facilitate these goals and assembly occurs in a modular fashion. Subcomplexes common to bacteria and mitochondria, but in part still elusive in chloroplasts, include a soluble F1 intermediate, a membrane-intrinsic, oligomeric c-ring, and a membrane-embedded subcomplex composed of stator subunits and subunit a. The final assembly step is thought to involve association of the preformed F1-c10-14 with the ab2 module (or the ab8-stator module in mitochondria)--mediated by binding of subunit δ in bacteria or OSCP in mitochondria, respectively. Despite the common evolutionary origin of F1F0-ATP synthases, the set of auxiliary factors required for their assembly in bacteria, mitochondria and chloroplasts shows clear signs of evolutionary divergence. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Chloroplast Biogenesis.
Keywords: ATP synthase; Assembly; Biogenesis; Chloroplast; F(1)F(0)-ATP synthase; Mitochondrion.
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