Electron and Proton Tunneling



Electron and Proton Tunneling


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The most vital product in electronic transfer in the respiratory system is the NADH: ubiquinone oxidoreductase also referred to as complex 1. It acts as the chain link for transfer of the electron to ubiquinone to the NADH. This is necessary for the creation of proton gradient to allow the ATP synthesis by enabling them to cross the membrane. In this case, the tunneling current theory and computer simulation are used to carry out the electronic wiring of all Fe/S cluster in complex 1. There are different methods through which the electronic transfer occurs depending on the path that the electrons use. The two primary paths that are in use include an additional key residue and cysteine ligands. There are three primary orders of magnitude through which a significant physiological value can be attained. This is enhanced by mediation in the internal water and protein subunits, therefore, enhancing electron transfer through tunneling. There is also the different sensitivity through which the rate of electron transfer is achieved. This is the different complex 1 homologues conservation. The most efficient way through which electron transfer is the electronic properties of Fe4S4 clusters contained in complex 1 (Chance, Devault, & Frauenfelder, (Eds.). 2013).

It is basic for atomic proton to move within the enzymes and this is in relation to the hydrogen atom in the body fluids. The typical reaction during the reaction is the anion and hydrides. The primary approach through which proton transfer is seen in quantum biology is through the semi-classical state theory. The transfer is actually based on the base and acid reactions within the body. The reaction relies mainly on the concentration gradients between the membranes through which the transfer occur. The protons on one side are different in concentration from the originating cell to the other. The cells that the proton are being transferred to have lower concentration than the origin of the proton. This is the main statement of the traditional theory of the semi-classical state.

In quantum biology, quantum tunneling is a crucial factor in the non-trivial effects. Both the proton and electronic tunneling transfer is vital in the biological processes. For many biochemical redox reactions that are reaction such as photosynthesis and cellular respiration, electron tunneling is the critical factor. Additionally, electron tunneling is vital in enzymatic catalysis. In spontaneous mutation of DNA, proton tunneling is essential factor.

The quantum biology has proved that spontaneous mutation of DNA only occurs during a normal DNA replication. This comes about only if a significant proton, in particular, goes against all the odds in quantum tunneling a process called proton tunneling. The result is that DNA base pairs bond with hydrogen (Migliore, Polizzi, Therien, & Beratan, 2014). The fact is that there is an energy barrier and there also exists a well potential along the hydrogen bond. It is found out that there exists an asymmetrical between the two bonds of hydrogen with one deeper than the other. Therefore, the tunneling goes towards the deeper well. Therefore, the proton must tunnel into one of the two shallow potential wells for DNA mutation to occur. Tautomeric transmission is the change in position of a proton through the various methods including proton tunneling. Therefore, by jeopardizing of the base pairing of the DNA during DNA replication in such a state, then DNA replication occurs. The first person to observe the DNA spontaneous mutation in a double helix is per-Olov Lowdin. However, there are other forms of mutation in the human being results from aging and cancer-related problem.


Chance, B., Devault, D. C., & Frauenfelder, H. (Eds.). (2013). Tunneling in Biological Systems: A Colloquium of the Johnson Research Foundation. Academic Press.

Migliore, A., Polizzi, N. F., Therien, M. J., & Beratan, D. N. (2014). Biochemistry and theory of proton-coupled electron transfer. Chemical reviews, 114(7), 3381-3465.

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