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Biophys J. 1986 Feb;49(2):541-52.

The membrane dipole potential in a total membrane potential model. Applications to hydrophobic ion interactions with membranes.


The total potential energy profile for hydrophobic ion interactions with lipid bilayers can be written as the sum of four terms: the electrical Born, image and dipole contributions, and a neutral energy term. We introduce a specific model for the membrane dipole potential, treating it as a two-dimensional array of point dipoles located near each membrane-water interface. Together with specific theoretical models for the other energy terms, a total potential profile is developed that successfully describes the complete set of thermodynamic parameters for binding and translocation for the two hydrophobic ion structural analogues, tetraphenylphosphonium (TPP+) and tetraphenylboron (TPB-). A reasonable fit to the data is possible if the dipole potential energy has a magnitude of 5.5 + 0.5 kcal/mol (240 + 20 mV), positive inside, and if the neutral energy contribution for TPP+ and TPB- is -7.0 + 1.0 kcal/mol. These results may also have important implications for small ion interactions with membranes and the energetics of charged groups in membrane proteins.

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