Apr 1, 1976

Protonmotive force as the source of energy for adenosine 5'-triphosphate synthesis in Escherichia coli

Journal of Bacteriology
D M WilsonT H Wilson


Net synthesis of adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) in energy-depleted cells of Escherichia coli was observed when an inwardly directed protonmotive force was artificially imposed. In wild-type cells, ATP synthesis occurred whether the protonmotive force was dominated by the membrane potential (negative inside) or the pH gradient (alkaline inside). Formation of ATP did not occur unless the protonmotive force exceeded a value of 200 mV. Under these conditions, no ATP synthesis was found when cells were exposed to an inhibitor of the membrane-bound Ca2+- and Mg2+- stimulated adenosine triphosphatase (EC, dicyclohexylcarbodiimide, or to a proton conductor, carbonylcyanide-p-trifluoromethoxyphenyl-hydrazone. Adenosine triphosphatase-negative mutants failed to show ATP synthesis in response to either a membrane potential or a pH gradient. ATP synthesis driven by a protonmotive force was observed in a cytochrome-deficient mutant. These observations are consistent with the chemiosmotic hypothesis of Mitchell (1961, 1966, 1974).

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Mentioned in this Paper

Alkalescens-Dispar Group
Resting Potentials
Carbonyl Cyanide m-Chlorophenyl Hydrazone
Escherichia Coli Infections
Cytochrome-c Oxidase Deficiency
DNA-dependent ATPase
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Adenosine Triphosphate, Chromium Ammonium Salt

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