Mg2+ is known to be a potent inhibitor of F1 ATPases from various sources. Such inhibition requires the presence of a tightly bound ADP at a catalytic site. Results with the spinach chloroplast F1 ATPase (CF1) show that the time delays of up to 1 min or more in the induction or the relief of the inhibition are best explained by a slow binding and slow release of Mg2+ rather than by slow enzyme conformational changes. CF1 is known to have multiple Mg2+ binding sites with Kd values in the micromolar range. The inhibitory Mg2+ and ADP can bind independently to CF1. When Mg2+ and ATP are added to the uninhibited enzyme, a relatively fast rate of hydrolysis attained soon after the addition is followed by a much slower steady-state rate. The inhibited steady-state rate results from a slowly attained equilibrium of binding of medium Mg2+. The Kd for the binding of the inhibitory Mg2+ is in the range of 1-8 microM, in the presence or absence of added ATP, as based on the extent of rate inhibition induced by Mg2+. Assessments from 18O exchange experiments show that the binding of Mg2+ is accompanied by a relatively rapid change to an enzyme form that is incapable of hydrolyzing MgATP. When ATP is added to the Mg2+- and ADP-inhibited enzyme, the resulting reactivation can be explained by MgATP binding to an alternate catalytic site which results in a displacement of the tightly bound ADP after a slow release of Mg2+. Both an increase in temperature (to 50 degrees C) and the presence of activating anions such as bicarbonate or sulfite reduce the extent of the Mg2+ inhibition markedly. The activating anions may bind to CF1 in place of Pi near the ADP. Whether the inhibitory Mg2+ binds at catalytic or noncatalytic nucleotide binding sites or at another location is not known. The Mg2(+)- and ADP-induced inhibition appears to be a general property of F1 ATPases, which show considerable differences in affinity for ADP, Mg2+, and Pi. These differences may reflect physiological control functions.
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