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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

H+-ATPase activity of Escherichia coli F1F0 is blocked after reaction of dicyclohexylcarbodiimide with a single proteolipid (subunit c) of the F0 complex.

Dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD) specifically inhibits the F1F0-H+-ATP synthase complex of Escherichia coli by covalently modifying a proteolipid subunit that is embedded in the membrane. Multiple copies of the DCCD-reactive protein, also known as subunit c, are found in the F1F0 complex. In order to determine the minimum stoichiometry of reaction, we have treated E. coli membranes with DCCD, at varying concentrations and for varying times, and correlated inhibition of ATPase activity with the degree of modification of subunit c. Subunit c was purified from the membrane, and the degree of modification was determined by two methods. In the "specific radioactivity" method, the moles of [14C]DCCD per total mole of subunit c was calculated from the radioactivity incorporated per mg of protein, and conversion of mg of protein to mol of protein based upon amino acid analysis. In the "high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) peak area" method, the DCCD-modified subunit c was separated from unmodified subunit c on an anion exchange AX300 HPLC column, and the areas of the peaks from the chromatogram quantitated. The shape of the modification versus inhibition curve indicated that modification of a single subunit c per F0 was sufficient to abolish ATPase activity. The titration data were fit by nonlinear regression analysis to a single hit mathematical model, A = Un(1 - r) + r, where A is the relative activity, U is the ratio of unmodified/total subunit c, n is the number of subunit c per F0, and r is a residual fraction of ATPase activity that was resistant to inhibition by DCCD. The two methods gave values for n equal to 10 by the specific radioactivity method and 14 by the HPLC peak area method, and values for r of 0.28 and 0.30, respectively. Most of the r value was accounted for by the observed dissociation of 15-20% of the F1-ATPase from the membrane under ATPase assay conditions. When the minimal, experimentally justified value of r = 0.15 was used in the equation above, the calculated values of n were reduced to 8 and 11, respectively. The value of n determined here, with a probable range of uncertainty of 8-14, is consistent with, and provides an independent type of experimental support for, the suggested stoichiometry of 10 +/- 1 subunit c per F1F0, which was determined by a more precise radiolabeling method (Foster, D. L., and Fillingame, R. H. (1982) J. Biol. Chem. 257, 2009-2015).[1]


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