The molecular mechanism of ATP synthesis by F1F0-ATP synthase

Alan E. Senior, Sashi Nadanaciva, Joachim Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

345 Scopus citations


ATP synthesis by oxidative phosphorylation and photophosphorylation, catalyzed by F1F0-ATP synthase, is the fundamental means of cell energy production. Earlier mutagenesis studies had gone some way to describing the mechanism. More recently, several X-ray structures at atomic resolution have pictured the catalytic sites, and real-time video recordings of subunit rotation have left no doubt of the nature of energy coupling between the transmembrane proton gradient and the catalytic sites in this extraordinary molecular motor. Nonetheless, the molecular events that are required to accomplish the chemical synthesis of ATP remain undefined. In this review we summarize current state of knowledge and present a hypothesis for the molecular mechanism of ATP synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-211
Number of pages24
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 15 2002


  • ATP synthesis
  • Catalytic site
  • FF-ATP synthase
  • Molecular mechanism
  • Oxidative phosphorylation
  • Subunit rotation


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