2006 Volume 82 Issue 10 Pages 416-438
ATP is synthesized by F-type proton-translocating ATPases (F-ATPases) coupled with an electrochemical proton gradient established by an electron transfer chain. This mechanism is ubiquitously found in mitochondria, chloroplasts and bacteria. Vacuolar-type ATPases (V-ATPases) are found in endomembrane organelles, including lysosomes, endosomes, synaptic vesicles, etc., of animal and plant cells. These two physiologically different proton pumps exhibit similarities in subunit assembly, catalysis and the coupling mechanism from chemistry to proton transport through subunit rotation. We mostly discuss our own studies on the two proton pumps over the last three decades, including ones on purification, kinetic analysis, rotational catalysis and the diverse roles of acidic luminal organelles. The diversity of organellar proton pumps and their stochastic fluctuation are the important concepts derived recently from our studies.
(Communicated by Takao SEKIYA, M.J.A.)