Research news

A research brought new light on the proton diffusion process across biological membranes

In biological systems, proton diffusion (PD) and transfer are fundamental processes, occuring for example in the cellular respiration and photosynthesis. In a collaborative research between the University of Jyväskylä and Israel Institute of Technology was designed a new spectroscopic probe to light-initiate and follow the PD on lipid membranes.

The study showed that the parameters characterising the PD are highly sensitive to the differences in the charged nature of the lipid headgroups. Depending on the charge environment of the lipids and the pH of the surrounding solution, PD may take place laterally on the membrane, or the protons can escape from the membrane to the bulk.

The research was published in peer-reviewed scientific journal PNAS on February. 

All computational simulations of this research were performed by the group of Professor G. Groenhof of the Nanoscience Center of University of Jyväskylä. The experimental work of this research was carried out by the research group of Israel Institute of Technology.

More information:

Professor Gerrit Groenhof, gerrit.x.groenhof@jyu.fi, tel. +358 40 805 4664

Article: Nadav Amdursky, Yiyang Lin, Noora Aho, and Gerrit Groenhof: Exploring fast proton transfer events associated with lateral proton diffusion on the surface of membranes. PNAS, 2019.

Link to article: https://www.pnas.org/content/116/7/2443.abstract