Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 17961501
Biochim. Biophys. Acta 2007 Nov;1767(11):1340-52
The density distribution of photosynthetic membrane vesicles (chromatophores) from Rhodobacter capsulatus has been studied by isopicnic centrifugation. The average vesicle diameters, examined by electron microscopy, varied between 61 and 72 nm in different density fractions (70 nm in unfractionated chromatophores). The ATP synthase catalytic activities showed maxima displaced toward the higher density fractions relative to bacteriochlorophyll, resulting in higher specific activities in those fractions (about threefold). The amount of ATP synthase, measured by quantitative Western blotting, paralleled the catalytic activities. The average number of ATP synthases per chromatophore, evaluated on the basis of the Western blotting data and of vesicle density analysis, ranged between 8 and 13 (10 in unfractionated chromatophores). Poisson distribution analysis indicated that the probability of chromatophores devoid of ATP synthase was negligible. The effects of ATP synthase inhibition by efrapeptin on the time course of the transmembrane electric potential (evaluated as carotenoid electrochromic response) and on ATP synthesis were studied comparatively. The ATP produced after a flash and the total charge associated with the proton flow coupled to ATP synthesis were more resistant to efrapeptin than the initial value of the phosphorylating currents, indicating that several ATP synthases are fed by protons from the same vesicle.