Proteolipid of Adenosinetriphosphatase from Yeast Mitochondria Forms Proton-Selective Channels in Planar Lipid Bilayers

Hansgeorg Schindler*, Nathan Nelson, Nathan Nelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Proteolipid isolated from yeast mitochondrial adenosinetriphosphatase by butanol extraction is reincorporated into lipid vesicles from which planar membranes are formed. The proteolipid permits electric conductance through the membrane. This conductance occurs through membrane channels which are highly selective for protons. Proton channels in the membrane are directly observed at high proton concentrations in the aqueous phases. Channels open and close independently from each other; their open-state conductances and lifetimes are monodisperse but influenced by the applied voltage (12 pS and 3 s, respectively, at pH 2.2 and 100 mV). Proton channels do not occur in single proteolipid molecules; the conducting structure consists of at least two polypeptide chains since channels form in a (reversible) bimolecular reaction of nonconducting forms of proteolipid. The number of proton channels at a constant proteolipid concentration changes in sharp transitions and by orders of magnitudes upon critical changes of membrane composition and pH. These transitions are caused by transitions of proteolipid organization in the membrane from a dispersed state (equilibrium between channel-forming “dimers” and a large pool of “monomers”) to a state of almost complete aggregation of proteolipid which stabilizes large proton-conducting structures (probably associates of channel-forming dimers). This self-association of isolated proteolipid into structures containing proton-selective channels suggests that the six proteolipids in the adenosinetriphosphatase complex exist as a self-associating entity containing most likely three proton channels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5787-5794
Number of pages8
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Proteolipid of Adenosinetriphosphatase from Yeast Mitochondria Forms Proton-Selective Channels in Planar Lipid Bilayers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this