Membrane Transport - Transport Types - Active Transport and Co-transport

Active Transport and Co-transport

In active transport a solute is moved against a concentration or electrochemical gradient, in doing so the transport proteins involved consume metabolic energy, usually ATP. In primary active transport the hydrolysis of the energy provider (e.g. ATP) takes place directly in order to transport the solute in question, for instance, when the transport proteins are ATPase enzymes. Where the hydrolysis of the energy provider is indirect as is the case in secondary active transport, use is made of the energy stored in an electrochemical gradient. For example, in co-transport use is made of the gradients of certain solutes to transport a target compound against its gradient, causing the dissipation of the solute gradient. It may appear that, in this example, there is no energy use, but hydrolysis of the energy provider is required to establish the gradient of the solute transported along with the target compound. The gradient of the co-transported solute will be generated through the use of certain types of proteins called biochemical pumps.

The discovery of the existence of this type of transporter protein came from the study of the kinetics of cross-membrane molecule transport. For certain solutes it was noted that the transport velocity reached a plateau at a particular concentration above which there was no significant increase in uptake rate, indicating a log curve type response. This was interpreted as showing that transport was mediated by the formation of a substrate-transporter complex, which is conceptually the same as the enzyme-substrate complex of enzyme kinetics. Therefore, each transport protein has an affinity constant for a solute that is equal to the concentration of the solute when the transport velocity is half its maximum value. This is equivalent in the case of an enzyme to the Michaelis-Menten constant.

Some important features of active transport in addition to its ability to intervene even against a gradient, its kinetics and the use of ATP, are its high selectivity and ease of selective pharmacological inhibition

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Other articles related to "transport, active":

Membrane Transport - Transport Types - Active Transport and Co-transport - Pumps
... A pump is a protein that hydrolyses ATP in order to transport a particular solute through a membrane in order to generate an electrochemical gradient to confer certain membrane potential ... In terms of membrane transport the gradient is of interest as it contributes to increased system entropy in the co-transport of substances against their gradient ... the following mechanism binding of three Na+ ions to their active sites on the pump which are bound to ATP ...

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