Proteins as specific polar media for charge transfer processes
Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electro Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninskii prosp. 31, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
A great many of biological processes involve the transfer of charged particles: electrons and protons. The electrostatic interaction of a moving charge with its surroundings, primarily with protein, is the major factor determining the thermodynamics and kinetics involved. This paper treats protein as a pre-organized highly-polar low-dielectric medium that possesses a pre-existent intraprotein electric field, a low reorganization energy, and a wide range of dielectric relaxation times. These specific protein features are the factors controlling the catalytic acceleration of biochemical reactions. Methods for quantitatively calculating the energetics of a number of typical processes are considered, and examples of their application are given.