- In this article, I reflect on research on two ATPases. The first is F1F0-ATPase, also known as ATP synthase. It is the terminal enzyme in oxidative phosphorylation and famous as a nanomotor. Early work on mitochondrial enzyme involved purification in large amount, followed by deduction of subunit composition and stoichiometry and determination of molecular sizes of holoenzyme and individual subunits. Later work on Escherichia coli enzyme utilized mutagenesis and optical probes to reveal the molecular mechanism of ATP hydrolysis and detailed facets of catalysis.
- I was accepted at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Medical School when I was seventeen years old. At that time, I was absolutely sure I was going to be a surgeon. One year later, I received an offer for a fellowship to work in a research laboratory. This originally had not been part of my future professional plan, but I was desperately in need of a source of income, so I joined the research laboratory at the age of eighteen. During the medical school course in Rio de Janeiro, I lived the hormonal tempest typical of youth, and my certainties were shaken badly.