Vacuolar (H+)-ATPases in Caenorhabditis elegans: What can we learn about giant H+ pumps from tiny worms?


Vacuolar (H+)-ATPases, also called V-ATPases, are ATP-driven proton pumps that are highly phylogenetically conserved. Early biochemical and cell biological studies have revealed many details of the molecular mechanism of proton pumping and of the structure of the multi-subunit membrane complex, including the stoichiometry of subunit composition. In addition, yeast and mouse genetics have broadened our understanding of the physiological consequences of defective vacuolar acidification and its related disease etiologies. Recently, phenotypic investigation of V-ATPase mutants in Caenorhabditis elegans has revealed unexpected new roles of V-ATPases in both cellular function and early development. In this review, we discuss the functions of the V-ATPases discovered in C. elegans. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.We would like to express our sincere apologies to all our colleagues whose studies we could not include because of space limitations. This study was supported by grants from the World Class University program (no. R33-2009-000-10026-0) and from the Women Scientists program (no. 2010-0006121) through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology

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