Phosphorylation of the F1Fo ATP synthase β subunit: Functional and structural consequences assessed in a model system

Lesley A. Kane, Matthew J. Youngman, Robert E. Jensen, Jennifer E. Van Eyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Rationale: We previously discovered several phosphorylations to the β subunit of the mitochondrial F1Fo ATP synthase complex in isolated rabbit myocytes on adenosine treatment, an agent that induces cardioprotection. The role of these phosphorylations is unknown. Objective: The present study focuses on the functional consequences of phosphorylation of the ATP synthase complex β subunit by generating nonphosphorylatable and phosphomimetic analogs in a model system, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Methods And Results: The 4 amino acid residues with homology in yeast (T58, S213, T262, and T318) were studied with respect to growth, complex and supercomplex formation, and enzymatic activity (ATPase rate). The most striking mutant was the T262 site, for which the phosphomimetic (T262E) abolished activity, whereas the nonphosphorylatable strain (T262A) had an ATPase rate equivalent to wild type. Although T262E, like all of the β subunit mutants, was able to form the intact complex (F1Fo), this strain lacked a free F1 component found in wild-type and had a corresponding increase of lower-molecular-weight forms of the protein, indicating an assembly/stability defect. In addition, the ATPase activity was reduced but not abolished with the phosphomimetic mutation at T58, a site that altered the formation/maintenance of dimers of the F1Fo ATP synthase complex. Conclusions: Taken together, these data show that pseudophosphorylation of specific amino acid residues can have separate and distinctive effects on the F1Fo ATP synthase complex, suggesting the possibility that several of the phosphorylations observed in the rabbit heart can have structural and functional consequences to the F1Fo ATP synthase complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-513
Number of pages10
JournalCirculation research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • ATP synthase
  • Mitochondria
  • Phosphorylation
  • Preconditioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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