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Many biological processes are coupled to ATP hydrolysis. We describe here a class of closely related ATP-binding proteins, from several bacterial species, which are associated with a variety of cellular functions including membrane transport, cell division, nodulation in Rhizobium and haemolysin export. These proteins comprise a family of structurally and functionally related subunits which share a common evolutionary origin, bind ATP and probably serve to couple ATP hydrolysis to each of these biological processes. This finding suggests a specific role for ATP in cell division, nodulation during nitrogen fixation and protein export, and allows us to assign a probable function to one of the protein components from each of these systems.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





448 - 450


Adenosine Triphosphate, Amino Acid Sequence, Bacteria, Molecular Weight, Protein Binding