PerspectiveStructural Biology

Energy powerhouses of cells come into focus

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  11 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6389, pp. 600-601
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat6275

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

In every kingdom of life, rotary adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthases and adenosine triphosphatases (ATPases) play key roles in cellular energy generation and release processes. In mitochondria, chloroplasts, and bacteria, F-type (F1Fo) ATP synthases synthesize ATP using energy from a proton gradient. They are also able to perform the reverse process, generating proton gradients by ATP hydrolysis. The related V-type (V1Vo) ATPases have similar structures and serve as proton pumps. Two articles in this issue report structures of membrane-embedded ATP synthases from yeast mitochondria [Srivastava et al., page 619, (1)] and spinach chloroplasts [Hahn et al., page 620, (2)]. Together with other recent structures, these articles define core design principles of rotary ATP synthases and ATPases but also highlight organism-specific differences.