Importance of water entropy in rotation mechanism of F1-ATPase

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We briefly review our theoretical study on the rotation scheme of F1-ATPase. In the scheme, the key factor is the water entropy which has been shown to drive a variety of self-assembly processes in biological systems. We decompose the crystal structure of F1-ATPase into three sub-complexes each of which is composed of the γ subunit, one of the β subunits, and two α subunits adjacent to them. The βE, βTP, and βDP subunits are involved in the sub-complexes I, II, and III, respectively. We calculate the hydration entropy of each sub-complex using a hybrid of the integral equation theory for molecular liquids and the morphometric approach. It is found that the absolute value of the hydration entropy follows the order, subcomplex I > sub-complex II > sub-complex III. Moreover, the differences are quite large, which manifests highly asymmetrical packing of F1-ATPase. In our picture, this asymmetrical packing plays crucially important roles in the rotation of the γ subunit. We discuss how the rotation is induced by the water-entropy effect coupled with such chemical processes as ATP binding, ATP hydrolysis, and release of the products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-122
Number of pages10
JournalBiophysics and physicobiology
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Asymmetric packing
  • Hydration entropy
  • Integral equation theory
  • Morphometric approach
  • Water


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