Mitochondrial ATP synthase: dramatic Mg2+-induced alterations in the structure and function of the F1-ATPase moiety

Biochemistry. 1987 Dec 29;26(26):8631-7. doi: 10.1021/bi00400a021.


The ATPase activity of the F1 moiety of rat liver ATP synthase is inactivated when incubated prior to assay at 25 degrees C in the presence of MgCl2. The concentration of MgCl2 (130 microM) required to induce half-maximal inactivation is over 30 times higher than the apparent Km (MgCl2) during catalysis. Moreover, the relative efficacy of divalent cations in inducing inactivation during prior incubation follows an order significantly different from that promoting catalysis. Inactivation of F1-ATPase activity by Mg2+ is accompanied by the dramatic dissociation from the F1 complex of alpha subunits and part of the gamma-subunit population. The latter form a precipitate while the beta, delta, and epsilon subunits, and the remaining part of the gamma-subunit population, remain soluble. Dissociation is not a sudden "all or none" event but parallels loss of ATPase activity until alpha subunits have almost completely dissociated together with about 50% of the gamma-subunit population. Mg2+-induced loss of F1-ATPase activity cannot be prevented by including either the hydrolytic substrates ATP, GTP, or ITP in the incubation medium or the product ADP. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, mercaptoethanol, and dithiothreitol are also ineffective in preventing loss of ATPase activity. Significantly, KPi at high concentration (greater than or equal to 200 mM) is effective in partially protecting F1 against inactivation. However, the most effective means of preventing Mg2+-induced inactivation of F1-ATPase activity is to rebind F1 to its F0 moiety in F1-depleted particles. When bound to F0, F1 is protected completely against divalent cation induced inactivation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cations, Divalent
  • Kinetics
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Magnesium / pharmacology*
  • Magnesium Chloride
  • Mitochondria, Liver / enzymology*
  • Proton-Translocating ATPases / metabolism*
  • Rats


  • Cations, Divalent
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Magnesium Chloride
  • Proton-Translocating ATPases
  • Magnesium