Molecular Rotary Motors

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Science  26 Nov 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5445, pp. 1687-1688
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5445.1687

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ATP is the energy currency of the cell: hydrolysis of ATP into ADP and inorganic phosphate (P) releases energy. The enzyme responsible for generating this energy currency is the ATP synthase. In a Perspective, Fillingame discusses two new reports ( Sambongi et al. and Stock et al. ) that present an elegant structural model of how ATP synthase works: it behaves like a tiny molecular rotary motor, coupling the mechanical force of an electrochemical proton gradient to the formation of the chemical bond between ADP and P.