Time-resolved dynamics of proton transfer in proteinous systems

M. Gutman, E. Nachliel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dynamics of proton dissociation from an acidic moiety and its subsequent dispersion in the bulk is regulated by the physical chemical properties of the solvent. The solvent has to provide a potential well to accommodate the discharged proton, screen it from the negative charge of the conjugated base, and provide an efficient mode for the diffusion of the proton to the bulk. On measuring the dynamics of proton dissociation in the time-resolved domain, the kinetic analysis of the reaction can quantitate the properties of the immediate environment. In this review we implement the kinetic analysis for evaluating the properties of small cavities in proteins and the diffusion of protons within narrow channels. On the basis of this analysis,we discuss how the clustering of proton-binding sites on a surface can endow the surface with enhanced capacity to attract protons and to funnel them toward a specific site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-356
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Physical Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


  • Diffusion
  • Electrostatic potential
  • Ion-conducting channels
  • Microcavities
  • Proton transfer


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