The Organization and Structure of ATP Synthase and Its Role in ATP Synthesis
ATP synthase is a large, membrane-bound enzyme that functions as a molecular machine, converting energy derived from proton gradients into the production of ATP. It is composed of two components, the F0 subcomplex which is embedded in the inner mitochondrial membrane and the F1 subcomplex which is located on the matrix side of the membrane. The F0 subcomplex is composed of c-subunits which form a proton channel across the inner mitochondrial membrane and a ring of a-subunits which make up a rotor. The F1 subcomplex contains a core of alpha and beta subunits around which three gamma, three delta, and one epsilon subunits are arranged (Briggs et al., 2016). The mechanism by which proton flow through ATP synthase results in ATP synthesis is complex. As protons pass through the F0 subcomplex, they cause the rotation of the a-ring which, in turn, causes the rotation of the gamma subunits of the F1 subcomplex (Kurahashi et al., 2021). This rotation of the gamma subunits causes the active site of the alpha and beta subunits to open and close, thus allowing for the binding and hydrolysis of ATP from ADP and Pi. This process is repeated until the required number of ATPs have been synthesized. Cont…..
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