Remember when they didn’t used to believe the living world had turbines and wheels and gears? The chemical ATP, which powers all life, has a turbine:
Rotation muddies the picture As the structure of the mushroom-like F1 soluble domain is known already, Sazanov and his team looked particularly at the Fo domain, embedded in the mitochondrial membrane. Here, protons are translocated at the interface between the so-called c ring, a ring made up of identical protein subunits, and the rest of Fo. Protons are moved across the membrane as each c subunit picks up a proton on one side of the membrane, rotates with the ring, and releases the proton on the other side. This c-ring is attached to the central shaft of F1 and its rotation generates ATP within F1. To solve the structure of the Fo domain and the entire complex, the researchers studied the enzyme from sheep mitochondria using cryo-electron microscopy. And here, ATP synthase poses a special problem: because it rotates, ATP synthase can stop in three main positions, as well as in substates. “It is very difficult to distinguish between these positions, attributing a structure to each position ATP synthase can take. But we managed to solve this computationally to build the first complete structure of the enzyme,” Sazanov adds.Institute of Science and Technology Austria, “Structure of ATPase, the world’s smallest turbine, solved” at ScienceDaily
Ask a Darwinist and he’ll tell you that “natural selection, acting on random mutation” caused all that to just swish into existence. As if. If it took so much intelligence to understand the intricacy of the system, it should be no surprise if it took some intelligence to create it.