Mechanisms of Energy Transduction by Charge Translocating Membrane Proteins.


Calisto F(1)(2), Sousa FM(1)(2), Sena FV(1)(2), Refojo PN(1), Pereira MM(1)(2).
Author information:
(1)Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica-António Xavier, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Av. da República EAN, 2780-157, Oeiras, Portugal.
(2)BioISI-Biosystems & Integrative Sciences Institute, University of Lisboa, Faculty of Sciences, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal.


Life relies on the constant exchange of different forms of energy, i.e., on energy transduction. Therefore, organisms have evolved in a way to be able to harvest the energy made available by external sources (such as light or chemical compounds) and convert these into biological useable energy forms, such as the transmembrane difference of electrochemical potential (Δμ̃). Membrane proteins contribute to the establishment of Δμ̃ by coupling exergonic catalytic reactions to the translocation of charges (electrons/ions) across the membrane. Irrespectively of the energy source and consequent type of reaction, all charge-translocating proteins follow two molecular coupling mechanisms: direct- or indirect-coupling, depending on whether the translocated charge is involved in the driving reaction. In this review, we explore these two coupling mechanisms by thoroughly examining the different types of charge-translocating membrane proteins. For each protein, we analyze the respective reaction thermodynamics, electron transfer/catalytic processes, charge-translocating pathways, and ion/substrate stoichiometries.