Bioenergetics 2 by David G. Nicholls

By David G. Nicholls

This new version has been considerably rewritten and up-to-date, and comprises color plates and cartoons to help realizing. The publication includes a complete record of the main suitable experiences on every one zone of bioenergetics and, additionally, the method of bioenergetic experimentation is mentioned intimately

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Electrical transport is frequently termed either electrogenic ('creating a potential'; proton pumping driven by ATP hydrolysis would be an example) or electrophoretic ('moving in response to a pre-existing potential'; Ca 2+ uniport into mitochondria would be an example). As these terms can refer to the same pathway observed under different conditions the overall term 'electrical' will be used here. It is important to distinguish between movement of charge at the molecular level, as discussed here, and the overall electroneutrality of the total ion movements across a given membrane.

It follows that if the charge can be delocalized and shielded from the bilayer, the ion permeability might be expected to increase. This is accomplished by a variety of antibiotics synthesized by some micro-organisms, as well as by some synthetic compounds. These are known collectively as ionophores. Ionophores are typically compounds with a molecular weight of 500-2000 and possess a hydrophobic exterior, making them lipid soluble, together with a hydrophilic interior to bind the ion. Ionophores are not natural constituents of energy-conserving membranes, but as tools for investigation they are invaluable.

2 Valinomycin and gramicidin catalyse ion uniport by different mechanisms. Schematic function of (a) valinomycin, a mobile carrier ionophore and (b) gramicidin, a channel-forming ionophore. Note that the ion's hydration sphere is lost in (a) but retained in (b). 3 Carriers of charge but not protons (a) Valinomycin Valinomycin (Fig. 2) is a mobile carrier ionophore which catalyses the electrical uniport of Cs + , Rb + , K+ or Ν Η ί . The ability to transport Na + is at least 104 less than for K + .

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