Purification of membrane attachment and inhibitory subunits of the proton translocating adenosine triphosphatase from Escherichia coli

J B Smith, P C Sternweis


The portion of Escherichia coli adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) which is peripheral to the membrane (ECFl) is composed of five separate polypeptides referred to as alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and epsilon. Treating purified ECFl with pyridine precipitated the three larger polypeptides (alpha, beta, and gamma), but the two smaller ones (delta and epsilon), which represent only about 10% of ECFl, remained in solution. After removing the pyridine, both delta and epsilon were active and both were obtained in essentially pure form after chromatography on a single molecular-seive column. epsilon strongly inhibited the ATPase activity of ECFl, indicating that epsilon has a regulatory role in the enzyme. epsilon inhibited ECFl missing delta, indicating that delta is not required for inhibition by epsilon. However, enzyme containing just the alpha and beta subunits, which was prepared by treating ECFl with a protease, was fully active hydrolytically but not at all sensitive to inhibition by epsilon. This result suggests that the gamma polypeptide is required for the inhibition of the ATPase by epsilon. delta restored the capacity of ECFl missing delta to recombine with ECFl-depleted membrane vesicles. The ECFl, which became attached to ...Continue Reading


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