Tuesday, December 26, 2006

energy transducers

An energy transducer transforms one mode of energy to another.

For example, for most sensory modalities sensory cells act as energy transducers, transforming the energy of the environmental stimulus into a change in the electrical potential difference across a biological membrane. Bacteriorhodopsin (bR) is an integral protein in the plasma membrane of a bacterium. Upon light absorption, bR transports protons across the membrane, converting the photon energy into the energy of a proton electrochemical gradient. bR is a single small protein and is the simplest known active ion pump and biological light energy transducer. Consequently, bR is a prototype system for studying the basic steps and rules of biological energy transduction. Energy transduction is thus the fundamental physical basis of the sensory response of most biological systems to their environments. Within each of the evolved sensory modalities there exists an enormous variety of structure and function produced by evolutionary pressures. Rhodopsins are found in one of the GPCR families.

Oxidative phosphorylation within the mitochondrion is another form of energy transduction, as is the conversion of chemical energy to muscle contraction and relaxation.

Virtual Cell Textbook - Cell Biology : Main page of BioChemistry : Main page of Molecules : Main page of Pathways :Main page of Genes : Main page of Cell : Main page of Cell to Cell : Main page of Neuron: Main page of Brain


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3:49 PM  

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