Bioelectronics. A Study in Cellular Regulations, Defense, by Albert Szent-Györgyi

By Albert Szent-Györgyi

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The charge transfer complex of two such molecules. What Fig. 28c suggests is that in a row of such charge transfer complexes (as may be the case in a membrane), the dipole developed in a charge transfer may promote the DA inter­ action with the next molecule, making charge transfer cooperative. The structures thus generated may be two- or three-dimensional. The surface of a protein molecule consists of the outer occupied orbitals, surrounded by the empty ones. So if two such molecules touch, their orbitals touch.

The two electrons, given off by the reductant in an oxi­ doreduction, can just as well be given off to a metallic electrode. Accordingly, most oxidoreductions lead to a welldefined redox potential. This is not the case in charge trans­ fer. Charge transfer is a very personal affair between an acceptor and donor which involves great intimacy, an orbital 31 II. ELECTRONIC MOBILITY overlap. Such orbital overlap is difficult to establish between the donor and a piece of metal. The lack of w^ell-defined redox potentials may also be one of the reasons w^hy the biological importance of charge transfer has not been fully recognized.

Wilhams-Ashman and P. Thalalay that estrogens are catalytic electron transmitters. In these ex­ periments phenazine mediated the reaction between corti­ sone and estrogen acting as the catalytic electron trans­ mitter, taking the electron from the cortisone and passing it on to the estrogen. One would expect, on thermodynamic grounds, that such an electron transfer from cortisone (or 39 III. BIOLOGICAL RELATIONS dihydroxyacetone) to estrogen would also take place di­ rectly, without the intervention of phenazine.

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