PROSITE documentation PDOC00526
ATP synthase c subunit signature


ATP synthase (proton-translocating ATPase) (EC [1,2] is a component of the cytoplasmic membrane of eubacteria, the inner membrane of mitochondria, and the thylakoid membrane of chloroplasts. The ATPase complex is composed of an oligomeric transmembrane sector, called CF(0), which acts as a proton channel, and a catalytic core, termed coupling factor CF(1).

The CF(0) c subunit (also called protein 9, proteolipid, or subunit III) [3,4] is a highly hydrophobic protein of about 8 Kd which has been implicated in the proton-conducting activity of ATPase. Structurally subunit c consist of two long terminal hydrophobic regions, which probably span the membrane, and a central hydrophilic region. N,N'-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD) can bind covalently to subunit c and thereby abolish the ATPase activity. DCCD binds to a specific glutamate or aspartate residue which is located in the middle of the second hydrophobic region near the C-terminus of the protein.

We derived a signature pattern which includes the DCCD-binding residue.


The proteolipid subunit of the vacuolar ATPase, a 16 Kd protein, which also binds DCCD, is evolutionary related to subunit c and has arisen by the duplication of a subunit c type domain. This protein is however too divergent to be detected by this pattern.

Last update:

April 2006 / Pattern revised.


Technical section

PROSITE method (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

ATPASE_C, PS00605; ATP synthase c subunit signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsFutai M. Noumi T. Maeda M.
TitleATP synthase (H+-ATPase): results by combined biochemical and molecular biological approaches.
SourceAnnu. Rev. Biochem. 58:111-136(1989).
PubMed ID2528322

2AuthorsSenior A.E.
TitleATP synthesis by oxidative phosphorylation.
SourcePhysiol. Rev. 68:177-231(1988).
PubMed ID2892214

3AuthorsIvaschenko A.T. Karpenyuk T.A. Ponomarenko S.V.
SourceBiokhimiia 56:406-419(1991).

4AuthorsRecipon H. Perasso R. Adoutte A. Quetier F.
TitleATP synthase subunit c/III/9 gene sequences as a tool for interkingdom and metaphytes molecular phylogenies.
SourceJ. Mol. Evol. 34:292-303(1992).
PubMed ID1533253

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