Volume 9 (2013) Pages 51-56
The synthesis of ATP, the key reaction of biological energy metabolism, is accomplished by the rotary motor protein; FoF1-ATP synthase (FoF1). In vivo, FoF1, located on the cell membrane, carries out ATP synthesis by using the proton motive force. This heterologous energy conversion is supposed to be mediated by the mechanical rotation of FoF1; however, it still remained unclear. Recently, we developed the novel experimental setup to reproduce the proton motive force in vitro and succeeded in directly observing the proton-driven rotation of FoF1. In this review, we describe the interesting working principles determined so far for FoF1 and then introduce results from our recent study.