Electroconformational Coupling: A Fundamental Process of Biomolecular Electronics for Signal Transductions

  • Tian Yow Tsong


Biomolecules are like electronic elements and are built to process information. Proteins of a cell membrane are adept to receive and to decipher even the very weak electromagnetic signals. Experiments on ion channel activity and on electric activation of [Na, K] -ATPase and mitochondrial ATPase reveal a fundamental process of the biomolecular electronics, the “Resonance Electroconformational Coupling”. An alternating electric field of a defined amplitude and frequency is shown to induce oscillation of protein conformers. The process can turn the activity of the protein on and off much like a molecular switch. When coupled to ligand binding it also allows the molecule to use the binding energy of a ligand to drive an endergonic reaction.


Pulse Electric Field Transmembrane Potential Mitochondrial ATPase Conformational Coupling Oriented Dipole 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altschuler, R.A., Hoffman, D.W. & Bobbin, R.P., eds. (1986). “Neurobiology of Hearing: The Cochlea”, Raven Press, New York.Google Scholar
  2. Astumian, R.D., Chock, P.B., Tsong, T.Y. & Westerhoff, H.V. (1987). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 84, 434–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blank, M. (1987). J. Electrochem. Soc., 134, 1112–1117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bullock, T.H. & Heiligenberg, W. (1986). “Electroreception”, Wiley & Son, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Chauvin, F., Astumian, R.D. & Tsong, T.Y. (1987). Biophys. J., 51, 243a.Google Scholar
  6. Chen, Y.-D. (1987). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 84, 729–731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Edmonds, D.T. (1986). Proc. R. Soc. London, Ser. B, 228, 71–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hartshorne, R., Keeler, B.U., Talvenheimo, J.A., Catterall, W.A. & Montal, M. (1985). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 82, 240–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hong, F.T. & Montal, M. (1979). Biophys. J., 25, 465–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hopkins, C.D. (1988). Ann. Rev. Neurosci., 11, 497–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kemp, F., Astumian, R.D. & Westerhoff, H.V. (1988). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 85 3792–3796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kinosita, K. Jr. & Tsong, T.Y. (1977). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 74, 1923–1927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Liu, D.-S., Astumian, R.D. & Tsong, T.Y. (1988). Submitted.Google Scholar
  14. Nicholls, D.G. (1982). “Bioenergetics”, Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Pethig, R. (1979). “Dielectric and Electronic Properties of Biological Materials”, Wiley & Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Serpersu, E.H. & Tsong, T.Y. (1983). J. Membrane Biol., 74, 191–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Serpersu, E.H. & Tsong, T.Y. (1984). J. Biol. Chem., 259, 7155–7162.Google Scholar
  18. Teissie, J., Knox, B.E., Tsong, T.Y., Wehrle, J. (1981). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 78, 7473–7477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Tsong, T.Y. (1983). Bioscience Reports, 3, 487–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Tsong, T.Y. (1988). Submitted.Google Scholar
  21. Tsong, T.Y. 6e Astumian, R.D. (1986). Bioeleetrochem. Bioenerg., 15, 457–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tsong, T.Y. & Astumian, R.D. (1987). Prog. Biophys. Mole. Biol., 50, 1–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tsong, T.Y. & Astumian, R.D. (1988). Ann. Rev. Physiol., 50, 273–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tsong, T.Y., Liu, D.-S., Chauvin, F. & Astumian, R.D. (1988a). Bioscience Reports, In press.Google Scholar
  25. Tsong, T.Y., Astumian, R.D. & Liu, D.-S. (1988b). Biophys. J., 53, 623a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Westerhoff, H.V., Tsong, T.Y., Boon, P.B., Chen, Y.-D. & Astumian, R.D. (1986). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 84, 434–438.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tian Yow Tsong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of Minnesota College of Biological SciencesSt. PaulUSA

Personalised recommendations