Photochemistry and Spectroscopy Department

Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences


Wednesday, November 29, 10:00, IChF Conference Room.


Prof. Alexander P. Demchenko (Yuriy Fedkovych National University, Chernivtsi and Palladin Institute of Biochemistry, Ukraine)


Proton transfer in biological systems: the models derived from organic photochemistry


The basic mechanisms of proton transfer are in active research in both photochemistry (the electronic excited states of organic molecules) and biological sciences (biocatalysis, operation of proton channels and systems of photosynthesis, cellular respiration). Photochemical approach allows observing the reactions directly in real time, providing their dynamic and thermodynamic description and coupling with structural and energetic variables. The same mechanisms should be in the background for understanding the proton transfers in biological systems. However, the connection is vague because such ultrafast events are not only 'optically silent' but are hidden under much slower rate-limiting steps (protein conformational changes, substrate binding, product release, etc.). The present report is an attempt to achieve consistent understanding of proton motions in biological systems based on the knowledge on directly observable photochemical proton transfer reactions. Thus, for explaining the formation of transmembrane proton gradients, a simple 'proton lift' concept is presented that may be the basis of further research and analysis.















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