1 Laboratory of Biochemistry, Karel de Grote University College, Department of Applied Engineering, Salesianenlaan 30, B-2660, Antwerp, Belgium
2 Laboratory of Cell Physiology, Institute of Cytology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Tikhoretsky Ave 4, St. Petersburg 194064, Russia
Observations of coherent cellular behavior cannot be integrated into widely accepted membrane (pump) theory (MT) and its steady state energetics because of the thermal noise of assumed ordinary cell water and freely soluble cytoplasmic K+. However, Ling disproved MT and proposed an alternative based on coherence, showing that rest (R) and action (A) are two different phases of protoplasm with different energy levels. The R-state is a coherent metastable low-entropy state as water and K+ are bound to unfolded proteins. The A-state is the higher-entropy state because water and K+ are free. The R-to-A phase transition is regarded as a mechanism to release energy for biological work, replacing the classical concept of high-energy bonds. Subsequent inactivation during the endergonic A-to-R phase transition needs an input of metabolic energy to restore the low entropy R-state. Matveev’s native aggregation hypothesis allows to integrate the energetic details of globular proteins into this view.
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