A mutant of Escherichia coli showing temperature-sensitive growth on succinate was isolated, and its mutation in the initiation codon (ATG to ATA) of the uncG gene (coding for the gamma subunit of H+-ATPase F0F1) was identified. This strain could grow on succinate as the sole carbon source at 25 and 30 degrees C, but not at 37 or 42 degrees C. When this strain was grown at 25 degrees C on succinate or glycerol, its membranes had about 15% of the ATPase activity of wild-type membranes, whereas when it was grown at 42 degrees C, its membranes had about 2% of the wild-type ATPase activity. Membranes of the mutant grown at 25 or 42 degrees C could bind F1 functionally, resulting in about 40% of the specific activity of wild-type membranes. The gamma subunit was identified in an EDTA extract of membranes of the mutant grown at 25 degrees C, but was barely detectable in the same amount of extract from the mutant grown at 42 degrees C. These results indicate that initiation of protein synthesis from the AUA codon is temperature sensitive and that the gamma subunit is essential for assembly of F1 in vivo as shown by in vitro reconstitution experiments (S. D. Dunn and M. Futai, J. Biol. Chem. 255:113-118, 1980)
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