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Active transport: A kinetic description based on thermodynamic grounds

By S. Kjelstrup, J. M. Rubi and D. Bedeaux


We show that active transport processes in biological systems can be understood through a local equilibrium description formulated at the mesoscale, the scale to describe stochastic processes. This new approach uses the method established by nonequilibrium thermodynamics to account for the irreversible processes occurring at this scale and provides nonlinear kinetic equations for the rates in terms of the driving forces. The results show that the application domain of nonequilibrium thermodynamics method to biological systems goes beyond the linear domain. A model for transport of Ca$^{2+}$ by the Ca$^{2+}$-ATPase, coupled to the hydrolysis of adenosine-triphosphate is analyzed in detail showing that it depends on the reaction Gibbs energy in a non-linear way. Our results unify thermodynamic and kinetic descriptions, thereby opening new perspectives in the study of different transport phenomena in biological systems.Comment: To appear in J. Theor. Bio

Topics: Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter, Condensed Matter - Other Condensed Matter, Quantitative Biology - Other Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Biology - Subcellular Processes
Year: 2004
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