Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Michael S. Zavada

Committee Members

Thomas F. Laughlin, Dhirena Kumar


F1FO ATP synthase is a membrane bound enzyme capable of synthesizing and hydrolyzing ATP. Lately, α-helical cationic peptides such as melittin and melittin related peptide (MRP) were shown to inhibit E. coli ATP synthase. The proposed but unconfirmed site of inhibition is βDELSEED-motif formed by the residues 380-386, located at the interface of α/β subunit of ATP synthase. This project was a mutagenic analysis of βDELSEED-motif residues to understand the binding mechanism and mode of action of peptide inhibitors. The study addressed 2 main questions: Are the antibacterial/anticancer effects of these peptides related to their inhibitory action on ATP synthase through interaction with the βDELSEED-motif? If so, which amino acid residues play critical role in peptide binding?

The findings demonstrated that the βDELSEED-motif is the binding site of the above peptides on ATP synthase and Glutamate residues are more important in peptide binding than the Aspartate residues.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.