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How azide inhibits ATP hydrolysis by the F-ATPases

  • Matthew W. Bowler
  • Martin G. Montgomery
  • Andrew G. W. Leslie
  • John E. Walker
National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
May 25, 2006


In the structure of bovine F1-ATPase determined at 1.95-Å resolution with crystals grown in the presence of ADP, 5′-adenylyl-imidodiphosphate, and azide, the azide anion interacts with the β-phosphate of ADP and with residues in the ADP-binding catalytic subunit, βDP. It occupies a position between the catalytically essential amino acids, β-Lys-162 in the P loop and the “arginine finger” residue, α-Arg-373, similar to the site occupied by the γ-phosphate in the ATP-binding subunit, βTP. Its presence in the βDP-subunit tightens the binding of the side chains to the nucleotide, enhancing its affinity and thereby stabilizing the state with bound ADP. This mechanism of inhibition appears to be common to many other ATPases, including ABC transporters, SecA, and DNA topoisomerase IIα. It also explains the stimulatory effect of azide on ATP-sensitive potassium channels by enhancing the binding of ADP.

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