There are five known ATP-dependent proteases in Escherichia coli (Lon, ClpAP, ClpXP, HslUV, and the membrane-associated FtsH) that catalyze the removal of both misfolded and properly folded proteins in cellular protein quality control pathways. Hexameric ClpA rings associate with one or both faces of the cylindrically shaped tetradecameric ClpP protease. ClpA catalyzes unfolding and translocation of polypeptide substrates into the proteolytic core of ClpP for degradation through repeated cycles of ATP binding and hydrolysis at two nucleotide binding domains on each ClpA monomer. We previously reported a molecular mechanism for ClpA catalyzed polypeptide translocation in the absence of ClpP, including elementary rate constants, overall rate, and the kinetic step size. However, the potential allosteric effect of ClpP on the mechanism of ClpA catalyzed translocation remains unclear. Using single-turnover fluorescence stopped-flow methods, here we report that ClpA, when associated with ClpP, translocates polypeptide with an overall rate of ~ 35 aa s- 1 and, on average, traverses ~ 5 aa between two rate-limiting steps with reduced cooperativity between ATP binding sites in the hexameric ring. This is in direct contrast to our previously reported observation that, in the absence of ClpP, ClpA translocates polypeptide substrates with a maximum translocation rate of ~ 20 aa s- 1 with cooperativity between ATPase sites. Our results demonstrate that ClpP allosterically impacts the polypeptide translocation activity of ClpA by reducing the cooperativity between ATP binding sites. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.