Journal of Biological Physics

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 19–38 | Cite as

Ion-conformational interaction and charge transport through channels of biological membranes

  • Yuri B. Gaididei


This work proposes a theory of charge transport through channels in biological membranes, based on ion flow interaction with charged groups of protein macromolecules that form the channel. Displacements of the groups are due to conformational changes of the protein molecule, the relaxation times of which are much larger than the average time of ion ocurrence in the channel. Ion flow is assumed to depend on the conformational changes and vice-versa. The resulting self-organizing ion-conformational system is described by a set of nonlinear differential equations for conformational variables and average occupancy of the channel by ions. The system exhibits multistable behaviour in a certain range of control parameters (potential difference, input ion flow). The stationary states of the system may be identified with the states of discrete conductivity of the ionic channels.

Key words

Ionic channels slow conformational degrees of freedom nonlinear diffusion equations bistability dissipative structure discrete conductivity states 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuri B. Gaididei
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Theoretical Physics, ISRC ‘Vidguk’, KievKievUkraine

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