Received June 11, 2013
ATP synthases (FoF1-ATPases) of chloroplasts, mitochondria, and bacteria catalyze ATP synthesis or hydrolysis coupled with the transmembrane transfer of protons or sodium ions. Their activity is regulated through their reversible inactivation resulting from a decreased transmembrane potential difference. The inactivation is believed to conserve ATP previously synthesized under conditions of sufficient energy supply against unproductive hydrolysis. This review is focused on the mechanism of nucleotide-dependent regulation of the ATP synthase activity where the so-called noncatalytic nucleotide binding sites are involved. Properties of these sites varying upon free enzyme transition to its membrane-bound form, their dependence on membrane energization, and putative mechanisms of noncatalytic site-mediated regulation of the ATP synthase activity are discussed.
KEY WORDS: noncatalytic sites, F1-ATPase, ATP synthase, activation/inactivation, regulation