Electrostatic Chameleons in Biological Systems.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Due to large equilibrium fluctuations of protons at physiological pH, the orthophosphate ion as well as the imidazole group on histidine substantially regulate their charge upon approaching charged interfaces. This implies that these-and comparable-ions function as electostatic "proximity switches" when interacting with lipid membranes, DNA, proteins, etc. Using straightforward statistical thermodynamics as well as mesoscopic computer simulations we quantify the charge regulation mechanism and argue that it is important in a range of biological as well as technical processes.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Theoretical Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17337-17339
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Theoretical Chemistry (S) (011001039)