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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2006 Oct;386(3):494-505. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

Voltammetric study on ion transport across a bilayer lipid membrane in the presence of a hydrophobic ion or an ionophore.

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Division of Applied Life Sciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa Oiwake-Cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8502, Japan.


This review describes voltammetric studies on ion transport from one aqueous phase (W1) to another (W2) across a bilayer lipid membrane (BLM) containing a hydrophobic ion, valinomycin (Val) or gramicidin A (GA). In particular, the ion transport mechanisms are discussed in terms of the distribution of a pair of ions between aqueous and BLM phases. By addition of a small amount of hydrophobic ion into W1 and/or W2 containing a hydrophilic salt as a supporting electrolyte, the hydrophobic ion was distributed into the BLM with the counter ion to maintain electroneutrality within the BLM phase. It was found that the counter ion was transferred between W1 and W2 across the BLM by applying a membrane potential. Facilitated transport of alkali ions across a BLM containing Val as an ion carrier compound, could be interpreted by considering not only the formation of the alkali metal ion-Val complex but also the distribution of both the objective cation and the counter ion. In the case of addition of GA as a channel-forming compound into the BLM, the facilitated transport of alkali ions across the BLM depended on the ionic species of the counter ions. It was discovered that the influence of the counter ion on the facilitated transport of alkali ions across the BLM could be explained in terms of the hydrophobicity and the ionic radius of the counter ion.

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