Control of the coupled reaction sequence in active transport depends on systematic changes in the properties of the carrier protein as the reaction proceeds. These changes would have to be brought about by specific interactions with the substrate, the binding forces being used to stabilize either (i) a carrier state with altered properties or (ii) the transition state in a carrier transformation. In the first case the tightness of coupling (the ratio of the coupled rate to slippage) will at first rise with the increment in binding energy in the altered state but will approach an upper limit when overly strong binding forces retard substrate dissociation in a subsequent step in the coupled reaction sequence. Primary and secondary active transport are subject to this limitation because the coupling mechanism necessarily involves intermediates in which the substrate is strongly bound. Exchange-only transport is not necessarily subject to the same limitation because the mechanism can involve only a substrate-catalyzed change in carrier state. The available data, although scant, agree with these conclusions.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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