Oscillating Electric Field Measures the Rotation Rate in a Native Rotary Enzyme

Csilla Maria Ferencz, Pál Petrovszki, András Dér, Krisztina Sebok-Nagy, Zoltán Kóta, Tibor Páli

Research output: Article

1 Citation (Scopus)


Rotary enzymes are complex, highly challenging biomolecular machines whose biochemical working mechanism involves intersubunit rotation. The true intrinsic rate of rotation of any rotary enzyme is not known in a native, unmodified state. Here we use the effect of an oscillating electric (AC) field on the biochemical activity of a rotary enzyme, the vacuolar proton-ATPase (V-ATPase), to directly measure its mean rate of rotation in its native membrane environment, without any genetic, chemical or mechanical modification of the enzyme, for the first time. The results suggest that a transmembrane AC field is able to synchronise the steps of ion-pumping in individual enzymes via a hold-and-release mechanism, which opens up the possibility of biotechnological exploitation. Our approach is likely to work for other transmembrane ion-transporting assemblies, not only rotary enzymes, to determine intrinsic in situ rates of ion pumping.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45309
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - márc. 27 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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