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2006.12-2012.3 ATP-synthesis Regulation Project
Japan-New Zealand
Research Directors
Prof. Takayoshi Kobayashi Prof. Masasuke Yoshida
Faculty of Engineering,Kyoto Sangyo University
Prof. Ferenc Krausz   Prof. Gregory Cook
Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Otago

Counterpart University of Otago (New Zealand)

ATP is a universal energy resource in living organisms. ATP synthesis is one of the most fundamental and dominant metabolisms, and a majority of ATP synthesis is carried out by an enzyme, ATP synthase. Energy supply for ATP synthesis and demands for ATP vary depending on nutritional conditions and environments in cells, which result in regulation of ATP synthase activity. We have learned basic mechanism of ATP synthase from recent research; however, the mechanism of its regulation has been remained unclear.

This project “ATP-synthesis regulation” aimed to elucidate the regulatory mechanisms of ATP synthase and their physiological roles, thereby contributing to clear understanding of fundamental aspects of metabolism, development of self-regulatable nano-machines and potential diseases caused by their defects. Japanese research group adopted in vitro approaches including biochemistry, genetics, protein chemistry, structural biology (crystallography and NMR), and single molecule observation and manipulation to figure out overall mechanisms and regulation of ATP synthase. New Zealand research group studied physiological consequences of altered regulation systems of ATP synthase among a variety of microorganisms including pathogenic ones. They revealed that the enzymatic activity of ATP synthase is regulated according to brightness in plant and to stress conditions in microorganisms.

It is highly expected that these results from this project contribute to a fundamental understanding in bioenergetics, how ATP synthesis is regulated. The further investigation on relationship between defect of regulation and physiological effects will lead to a new approach to control disorders of energy metabolism in our body.

 

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