Current understanding of structure, function and biogenesis of yeast mitochondrial ATP synthase

  • I. Made ArtikaEmail author


The yeast mitochondrial ATP synthase is a rotary molecular machine primarily responsible for the production of energy used to drive cellular processes. The enzyme complex is composed of 17 different subunits grouped into a soluble F1 sector and a membrane-embedded F0 sector. The catalytic head of the F1 sector and the membrane integrated motor module in the F0 sector are connected by two stalks, the F1 central stalk and the F0 peripheral stalk. Proton translocation through the F0 motor module drives the rotation of the subunit 910-ring that generates torque which is transmitted to the calaytic head through the γ subunit of the central stalk. The rotation of the γ subunit causes changes in conformation of the catalytic head which leads to the synthesis of ATP. Biogenesis of the enzyme involves modular assembly of polypeptides of dual genetic origin, the nuclear and the mitochondrial genomes. Most of the yeast ATP synthase subunits are encoded by the genome of the nucleus, translated on cytosolic ribosomes and imported into mitochondria. In the mitochondria, the enzyme forms a dimer which contributes to the formation of cristae, a characteristic of mitochondrial morphology. Substantial progress has recently been made on the elucidation of detailed stucture, function and biogenesis of yeast mitochondrial ATP synthase. The recent availability of high-resolution structure of the complete monomeric form, as well as the atomic model for the dimeric F0 sector, has advanced the understanding of the enzyme complex. This review is intended to provide an overview of current understanding of the molecular structure, catalytic mechanism, subunit import into mitochondria, and the subunit assembly into the enzyme complex. This is important as the yeast mitochondrial ATP synthase may be used as a model for understanding the corresponding enzyme complexes from human and other eukaryotic cells in physiological and diseased states.


ATP synthase Yeast Mitochondria Molecular machine Rotational catalysis 



This work was carried out without external funding support. The author thanks Dr. John Acton for his assistance at the manuscript stage.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural SciencesBogor Agricultural UniversityBogorIndonesia
  2. 2.Eijkman Institute for Molecular BiologyJakartaIndonesia

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