Cytoplasmic hydrogen ion diffusion coefficient

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The apparent cytoplasmic proton diffusion coefficient was measured using pH electrodes and samples of cytoplasm extracted from the giant neuron of a marine invertebrate. By suddenly changing the pH at one surface of the sample and recording the relaxation of pH within the sample, an apparent diffusion coefficient of 1.4 +/- 0.5 x 10(-6) cm2/s (N = 7) was measured in the acidic or neutral range of pH (6.0–7.2). This value is approximately 5x lower than the diffusion coefficient of the mobile pH buffers (approximately 8 x 10(-6) cm2/s) and approximately 68x lower than the diffusion coefficient of the hydronium ion (93 x 10(-6) cm2/s). A mobile pH buffer (approximately 15% of the buffering power) and an immobile buffer (approximately 85% of the buffering power) could quantitatively account for the results at acidic or neutral pH. At alkaline pH (8.2–8.6), the apparent proton diffusion coefficient increased to 4.1 +/- 0.8 x 10(-6) cm2/s (N = 7). This larger diffusion coefficient at alkaline pH could be explained quantitatively by the enhanced buffering power of the mobile amino acids. Under the conditions of these experiments, it is unlikely that hydroxide movement influences the apparent hydrogen ion diffusion coefficient. © 1992, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.




al-Baldawi, N. F., & Abercrombie, R. F. (1992). Cytoplasmic hydrogen ion diffusion coefficient. Biophysical Journal, 61(6), 1470–1479.

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