Quaternary structure of ATP synthases: Symmetry and asymmetry in the F1 moiety

L. Mario Amzel, Mario A. Bianchet, Peter L. Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


It has been proposed that during ATP synthesis/hydrolysis F1 ATPases experience a complex pattern of nucleotide binding and release during the catalytic cycle (binding change mechanism). This type of mechanism has implications that can be correlated with the structure of the enzyme. F1-ATPases (stoichiometry α3β3γδε) are essentially a symmetrical trimer of pairs of the major subunits (α and β); the minor subunits (γ, δ and ε) are in single copies and interact with the trimer in an asymmetrical fashion. The asymmetry introduced by the minor subunits has important structural and functional consequences: (1) it introduces differences between the potentially equivalent binding and catalytic sites in the major subunits, (2) it restricts the ways in which a binding change mechanism can occur, and (3) it governs the way in which the F1 interacts with the (asymmetrical) F0 sector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-433
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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