What is the difference between ATPase and ATP synthase?

The main difference between ATPase and ATP synthase is that ATPase is the enzyme that breaks down ATP into ADP and free phosphate group. In contrast, ATP synthase is the enzyme that synthesizes ATP by combining ADP and a free phosphate group. In addition, ATPase catalyzes a dephosphorylation reaction that releases energy, but ATP synthase catalyzes a phosphorylation reaction that stores energy. In addition, most ATPases serve as transmembrane proteins that move molecules across the membrane through primary active transport mechanisms. However, the ATP synthase is located in the inner membrane of the mitochondria and is involved in oxidative phosphorylation .  

In short, ATPase and ATP synthase are two enzymes with opposite functions in the metabolism of ATP. It is important that ATP is the cell's main energy currency.  

Key areas covered  

1. What is ATPase - definition, occurrence, meaning 2. What is ATP synthase - definition, occurrence, meaning 3. What are the similarities between ATPase and ATP synthase - overview of the common features 4. What is the difference between ATPase and ATP synthase? - Comparison of the main differences

key terms  

ATPase, ATP synthase, dephosphorylation, oxidative phosphorylation, primary active transport Difference Between ATPase and ATP Synthase - Comparative Summary

What's ATPase?  

ATPase is the class of enzymes responsible for catalyzing the dephosphorylation of ATP. Hence it breaks down ATP into ADP and a free phosphate ion. In addition, this dephosphorylation reaction of ATP releases energy that drives another biochemical reaction. In general, most ATPase enzymes are coupled to integral membrane proteins that move molecules across the membrane. In particular, ATPase-coupled carrier proteins are subject to primary active transport.

Difference Between ATPase and ATP Synthase

Figure 1: Na + / K + ATPase

In addition, the above carrier proteins import many important metabolites necessary for cell metabolism and export waste materials, toxins, etc. from the cell. For example, Na + / K + ATPase is a carrier protein that is important for maintaining cell membrane potential . Functionally, it transports three sodium ions out of the cell, while it transports two potassium ions into the cell for each hydrolyzed ATP molecule.  

What is ATP Synthase?  

ATP is the enzyme that is responsible for the synthesis of ATP, the most important energy storage molecule in the cell. Typically the chemical reaction for the synthesis of ATP is given below.  

ADP + P i + 3H + from ⇌ ATP + H2O + 3H + a  

In addition, ATP is synthesized during cell respiration by an electrochemical gradient that is generated by protons across the mitochondrial membrane in a process known as oxidative phosphorylation. Therefore, the ATP synthase occurs mainly on the inner mitochondrial membrane. In addition to photosynthesis, ATP synthesis also takes place through a proton gradient, which is generated through the thylakoid membrane during the light reaction .

Key difference - ATPase vs. ATP synthase

Figure 2: ATP synthase

In addition, ATP synthase is an F-ATPase found in mitochondria, chloroplasts, and bacterial plasma membranes. They synthesize ATP with the help of a proton gradient across the corresponding biological membranes. In addition, F-ATPases contain two subunits; F O   and F 1 , which has a rotary motor mechanism that enables ATP production. Other than that, F-ATPase is a type of rotating ATPase, which is one of the four types of ATPases. Here the other three types of ATPases are P-ATPases, E-ATPases, and AAA proteins.  

Similarities Between ATPase and ATP Synthase  

  • ATPase and ATP synthase are two enzymes that are involved in the metabolism of ATP, the cell's main energy source.  
  • Therefore, they are responsible for the conversion of cellular energy between different biochemical processes of the cell.  
  • In addition, both enzymes are integral membrane proteins that are anchored in biological membranes.  

Difference Between ATPase and ATP Synthase  

definition  

ATPase is a class of enzymes that catalyzes the breakdown of ATP into ADP and a free phosphate ion. In contrast, ATP synthase refers to the enzyme that synthesizes the energy storage molecule ATP.  

Type  

The four types of ATPases are the rotating ATPases, P-ATPases, E-ATPases, and AAA proteins. Meanwhile, ATP synthesis is an F-ATPase, which is a type of rotating ATPase.  

function  

ATPase breaks down ATP into ADP and a phosphate group, but ATP synthase synthesizes ATP.  

Type of response  

ATPase undergoes dephosphorylation, but in contrast, ATP synthase undergoes phosphorylation.  

Appear  

ATPase occurs coupled with carrier proteins that are anchored to biological membranes. However, the ATP synthase is located in the inner membrane of the mitochondria.  

role  

ATPase is involved in the primary active transport of molecules, but ATP synthase is subject to oxidative phosphorylation.  

Energy metabolism  

ATPase releases energy from ATP, while ATP synthase stores energy in ATP.  

diploma  

In summary, ATPase is the enzyme responsible for dephosphorylating ATP into ADP and a phosphate group. Therefore, the energy stored in ATP is released. In addition, ATPase occurs coupled with carrier proteins, which undergo a primary active transport of molecules. In contrast, ATP synthase is the enzyme that is responsible for the synthesis of ATP through oxidative phosphorylation. Hence it occurs in the inner membrane of the mitochondria. It also stores the electrochemical energy of the proton gradient in ATP. Because of this, the main difference between ATPase and ATP synthase is the role of the enzyme.  

References:

1. "ATPase". Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, February 29, 2020, available here. “ATP synthase.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, February 29, 2020, available here.

Image courtesy:

1. “Scheme of sodium-potassium pumps” by LadyofHats Mariana Ruiz Villarreal - own work. ( Public Domain ) via Commons Wikimedia 2. “ATP-Synthase” by Mitochondrials ( Public Domain ) via Commons Wikimedia

About the author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in molecular biology and biochemistry, is a molecular biologist and has a broad and strong interest in discovering things related to nature