Living systems display a variety of situations in which non-equilibrium fluctuations couple to certain protein functions yielding astonishing results. Here we study the bacterial channel OmpF under conditions similar to those met in vivo, where acidic resistance mechanisms are known to yield oscillations in the electric potential across the cell membrane. We use a three-dimensional structure-based theoretical approach to assess the possibility of obtaining fluctuation-driven transport. Our calculations show that remarkably high voltages would be necessary to observe the actual transport of ions against their concentration gradient. The reasons behind this are the mild selectivity of this bacterial pore and the relatively low efficiencies of the oscillating signals characteristic of membrane cells (random telegraph noise and thermal noise).
Aguilella-Arzo, M., Queralt-Martín, M., Lopez, M. L., & Alcaraz, A. (2017). Fluctuation-driven transport in biological nanopores. A 3D poisson-nernst-planck study. Entropy, 19(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/e19030116