The Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry


Volume 4, Number 2, p. 64–73

Interfacial water: a modulator of biological activity

Pascale Mentré

UMR 8646 MNHN-CNRS, Muséum national d¹histoire naturelle, 53 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France

In contact with an extraneous surface, water adopts a particular structure. This water is called interfacial water, and although its organization depends greatly on the nature of the surface, its different forms have in common a certain number of properties: cooperativity, proton conductivity, behaviour under pressure, density different from 1, selective dis¬solving power, etc. Interfacial water is an integral partner of biomolecules and the modulator of their activity. Moreover, the quasi-totality of cell water is interfacial so simulation of the role of water in biological processes must not ignore the numerous and complex properties of interfacial water: The obvious question is whether such studies are currently feasible.

Keywords: cell water confinement, cooperativity, pressure effects, proton currents, water density

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