One of the most intriguing functions ever build inside of humans and animals, it’s known for nearly 100 percent efficiency with gear mismatches, powered by an elastic transmission which is vital for a high rate of coupled turnover under a load. Quite amazingly, it combines the electrical, mechanical and chemical aspects of enzyme function!
Yes, it’s the world’s smallest rotary motor called; ATP synthase. Three German scientists had one of many papers published in this month’s Nature where it explains in part the level of efficiency through mismatched gears from top to bottom of the engine.
“The match implies 100% efficiency for the conversion of the Gibbs free energy of ATP hydrolysis into mechanical work performed on the elastically strained filament. This is not surprising given the approximate thermodynamic equilibrium of the enzyme (long)-filament construct.”
“It is more informative to say that there is no slip between ATP hydrolysis in F1 and rotation in FO under the given conditions.2 Rotary slip in FOF1 in chloroplasts and bacteria has been detected, but only under single-site occupancy, that is, at nucleotide concentrations significantly below 100 nM.”
“The momentary torque can be larger (for example, during a particular power stroke) or smaller (during a kinetic dwell) than its equilibrium average. This may account for the still puzzling independence of the torque from the ATP concentration in the nanomolar to millimolar range (see ref. 2 for a review).”
“It is worth mentioning that the other technique for determining the torque from the rate of rotation underestimates its magnitude because it neglects viscous flow coupling between the filament and the enzyme-supporting surface.”
It’s refreshing to see in this very detailed research work, where it’s not telling us in their black box, the rotary motor was engineered in light of evolution, because we see it. The ATP synthase has “intelligent” engineering, it’s concepts are found even in human made machines. The ATP synthase is mechanically perfect, while it’s specified complexity cannot be reduced and still function indicating it’s not a product of naturalism.