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Ionic Conductance

Richard Gordon gordonr at cc.UManitoba.CA
Sat Nov 12 18:36:41 EST 1994


Dear Harry,
I've heard that bacterial flagella have protons going through the hole 
down the middle, so why not microtubules? Will ask for refs if you can't 
find any.
Best regards, -Dick Gordon, U. Manitoba[Nov12,94]

On 12 Nov 1994, Harry Erwin wrote:

> I believe it was Peter Mitchell who worked out the mechanism of
> oxidative phosphorylation. It involves a proton conductance through a
> membrane, which overcomes the problems with the charge on the proton.
> The reason I bring this up is that there is a problem with neural
> spines--the spine neck is quite narrow, and does not allow ionic flow
> between the spine and the dendrite. 
> 
> However, my taking a course from Harold Morowitz on metabolism begins to
> provide some insight here. He keeps emphasizing the importance of static
> cell structure to how the cell operates. (He's taken metazoans down
> nearly to absolute zero and then revived them--which you could not do if
> persistent dynamics were necessary to life.) The problem with the spine
> neck would go away if there were some sort of biological structure that
> supported the necessary ion flow. I.e., ion wires through the neck...
> 
> Has anyone looked to see if microtubules supported ionic conductance?
> That would also start to provide some insight into their role in the
> protistan neuroskeleton. Based on structure, they might even function as
> some sort of coaxial cable.
> 
> --
> Harry Erwin
> Internet: herwin at gmu.edu 
> 
> 



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