People and Ideas

Moving Questions

A History of Membrane Transport and Bioenergetics

Authors: Robinson, Joseph D

  • Describes half a century of progress in two mainstream areas of biological research: membrane transport and oxidative phosphorylation
  • Written by leading researcher in the field
  • Provides a comprehensive history of membrane transport and bioenergetics
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  • ISBN 978-1-4614-7600-9
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About this book

This book describes half a century of progress in two mainstream areas of biological research: membrane transport, initially a focus of physiologists, and oxidative phosphorylation, initially a focus of biochemists. Robinson shows how the development of new explanatory models had unexpectedly merged these inquiries into a new field, bioenergetics. In the late 1930s, explanations for the asymmetric distribution of ions between cells and their environments invoked absolute impermeabilities of the cell's surrounding membranes. But new experiments contradicted that idea and demonstrated that forming the transmembrane distributions required metabolic energy, implying the participation of active transport "pumps." Subsequent studies identified, isolated, and characterized these pumps as enzymes coupling ionic transport to the consumption of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an "energy-rich" molecule serving as a cellular energy store. In the late 1930s oxidative phosphylation, the process of coupling ATP synthesis to oxidative metabolism, was identified. The explanatory model emerging in the next decades, however, did not follow the enzymatic precedents of known metabolic phosphorylations but rather embodied the principle that metabolic oxidations drive active transport pumps to create transmembrane distribution of ions, with these ionic asymmetries then driving ATP synthesis. It was discovered that ATP consumption can form ionic asymmetries; ionic asymmetries can drive ATP formation; and ionic asymmetries-like ATP-can also power other cellular functions.

Table of contents (19 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Robinson, Joseph D.

    Pages 3-12

  • Views in the 1930s

    Robinson, Joseph D.

    Pages 13-25

  • Accounting for Asymmetric Distributions of Na+ and K+ in Muscle

    Robinson, Joseph D.

    Pages 26-52

  • Accounting for Asymmetric Distributions of Na+ and K+ in Red Blood Cells

    Robinson, Joseph D.

    Pages 53-67

  • Ion Gradients and Movements in Excitable Tissues

    Robinson, Joseph D.

    Pages 68-88

Buy this book

eBook $119.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-7600-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Moving Questions
Book Subtitle
A History of Membrane Transport and Bioenergetics
Authors
Series Title
People and Ideas
Copyright
1997
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
American Physiological Society
eBook ISBN
978-1-4614-7600-9
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4614-7600-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
373
Additional Information
Originally Published by Oxford University Press 1997
Topics