Modelling interaction between ammonia and nitric oxide molecules and aquaporins



Publication Details

Al Garalleh, H., Thamwattana, N., Cox, B. J. & Hill, J. M. (2013). Modelling interaction between ammonia and nitric oxide molecules and aquaporins. Journal of Mathematical Chemistry, 51 (8), 2020-2032.


Aquaporin is a family of small membrane-proteins that are capable of transporting nano-sized materials. In the present paper, we investigate the structure of these channels and provide information about the mechanism of individual molecules being encapsulated into aquaglyceroporin (GlpF) and aquaporin-1 (AQP1) channels by calculating the potential energy. In particular, we presents a mathematical model to determine the total potential energy for the interaction of the ammonia and nitric oxide molecules and different aquaporin channels which we assume to have a symmetrical cylindrical structure. We propose to describe these interactions in two steps. Firstly, we model the nitrogen atom as a discrete point and secondly, we model the three hydrogen atoms on the surface of a sphere of a certain radius. Then, we find the total potential energy by summing these interactions. Next, by considering the nitric oxide molecule as two discrete atoms uniformly distributed interacting with GlpF and AQP1 channels then gathering all pairs of interaction to determine the potential energy. Our results show that the ammonia and nitric oxide molecules can be encapsulated into both GlpF and AQP1 channels.

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