14,165 research outputs found

    Glycerol Modulates Water Permeation through Escherichia coli Aquaglyceroporin GlpF

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    Among aquaglyceroporins that transport both water and glycerol across the cell membrane, Escherichia coli glycerol uptake facilitator (GlpF) is the most thoroughly studied. However, one question remains: Does glycerol modulate water permeation? This study answers this fundamental question by determining the chemical-potential profile of glycerol along the permeation path through GlpF's conducting pore. There is a deep well near the Asn-Pro-Ala (NPA) motifs (dissociation constant 14 microM) and a barrier near the selectivity filter (10.1 kcal/mol above the well bottom). This profile owes its existence to GlpF's perfect steric arrangement: The glycerol-protein van der Waals interactions are attractive near the NPA but repulsive elsewhere in the conducting pore. In light of the single-file nature of waters and glycerols lining up in GlpF's amphipathic pore, it leads to the following conclusion: Glycerol modulates water permeation in the microM range. At mM concentrations, GlpF is glycerol-saturated and a glycerol dwelling in the well occludes the conducting pore. Therefore, water permeation is fully correlated to glycerol dissociation that has an Arrhenius activation barrier of 6.5 kcal/mol. Validation of this theory is based on the existent in vitro data, some of which have not been given the proper attention they deserved: The Arrhenius activation barriers were found to be 7 kcal/mol for water permeation and 9.6 kcal/mol for glycerol permeation; The presence of up to 100 mM glycerol did not affect the kinetics of water transport with very low permeability, in apparent contradiction with the existent theories that predicted high permeability (0 M glycerol)

    Valid and efficient formula for free energy difference from nonequilibrium work

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    Atomic force microscopes and optical tweezers afford direct probe into the inner working of single biomolecules by mechanically unfolding them.^1-15^ Critical to the success of this type of probe is to correctly extract the free energy differences between the various conformations of a protein/nucleic acid along its forced unfolding pathways. Current studies rely on the Jarzynski equality^16^ (JE) or its undergirding Crooks fluctuation theorem^17^ (CFT), even though questions remain on its validity^17-19^ and on its accuracy.^13,20-21^ The validity of JE relies on the assumption of microscopic reversibility.^17,18^ The dynamics of biomolecules, however, is Langevin stochastic in nature. The frictional force in the Langevin equation breaks the time reversal symmetry and renders the dynamics microscopically irreversible even though detailed balance holds true. The inaccuracy of JE has largely been attributed to the fact that one cannot sample a large enough number of unfolding paths in a given study, experimental or computational.^13,15^ Here I show that both of these questions can be answered with a new equation relating the nonequilibrium work to the equilibrium free energy difference. The validity of this new equation requires detailed balance but not microscopic reversibility. Taking into the new equation equal number of unfolding and refolding paths, the accuracy is enhanced ten folds in comparison to a JE study based on a similar but larger number of unfolding paths

    Alignment and orientation of an adsorbed dipole molecule

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    Half-cycle laser pulse is applied on an absorbed molecule to investigate its alignment and orientation behavior. Crossover from field-free to hindered rotation motion is observed by varying the angel of hindrance of potential well. At small hindered angle, both alignment and orientation show sinusoidal-like behavior because of the suppression of higher excited states. However, mean alignment decreases monotonically as the hindered angle is increased, while mean orientation displays a minimum point at certain hindered angle. The reason is attributed to the symmetry of wavefunction and can be explained well by analyzing the coefficients of eigenstates.Comment: 4 pages, 4 figures, to appear in Phys. Rev. B (2004
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