Research published ahead of print in the journal Function describes how hydrogen (H+) and potassium (K+) ions can drive the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound that provides the energy for many of the body’s basic processes.
ATP synthase is a protein that helps the body make energy in the form of ATP. Previous research has led to long-held belief that ATP synthase in mammals relies only on proton fluxes to make ATP. This study “revises that concept significantly,” the research team explained.
“We demonstrated that mitochondrial ATP synthase utilizes the ion gradient energy not only of H+ but also of K+ to drive ATP synthesis, what is likely to be the primary mechanism by which mitochondrial function matches energy supply with demand for all cells in the body,” the researchers wrote.
Read the full article, “ATP synthase K+- and H+-fluxes drive ATP synthesis and enable mitochondrial K+-‘uniporter’ function: I. Characterization of ion fluxes.” Contact APS Media Relations to schedule an interview with the research team.