The proton pore of the F(1)F(o) ATP synthase consists of a ring of c subunits, which rotates, driven by downhill proton diffusion across the membrane. An essential carboxylate side chain in each subunit provides a proton-binding site. In all the structures of c-rings reported to date, these sites are in a closed, ion-locked state. Structures are here presented of the c(10) ring from Saccharomyces cerevisiae determined at pH 8.3, 6.1 and 5.5, at resolutions of 2.0 Å, 2.5 Å and 2.0 Å, respectively. The overall structure of this mitochondrial c-ring is similar to known homologs, except that the essential carboxylate, Glu59, adopts an open extended conformation. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal that opening of the essential carboxylate is a consequence of the amphiphilic nature of the crystallization buffer. We propose that this new structure represents the functionally open form of the c subunit, which facilitates proton loading and release.
A user-sponsored molecular visualization software system on an open-source foundation. The software has the capabilities to view, render, animate, export, present and develop three dimensional molecular structures.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to SciCrunch, however this is not currently a free service.