Are ions always aqueous inside the cell? (simple question)

In summary, there are multiple ways in which hydrogen ions can be transported into a cell, either dissolved in water or through membrane pumps. However, they do not move freely in water but rather form complexes through hydrogen bonds, allowing for efficient transfer. This process is similar to how sandbags are transported to strengthen a dike, with protons hopping from water molecule to water molecule.
  • #1
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Hello guys,

So there are hydrogen ions inside the cell which is pumped out in cellular respiration. Now my question is when they say hydrogen ions are inside the cell are these actually dissolved in water, ions can not exist without being dissolved right, why is that they are so reactive otherwise. Also in diffusion when they say hydrogen ions are taken in by the cell, does water come with it because they are dissolved. So does osmosis and ion diffusion occur together. Thanks :smile:
 
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  • #2
So does osmosis and ion diffusion occur together.
A good but complex question for sure.
 
  • #3
There are at least a couple mechanisms by which hydrogen ions could move into the cell. They can be transported while dissolved in water, yes, but lone protons can also be transported through membrane pumps. Here they aren't dissolved in water but are rather transferred between transmembrane proteins. This is described in detail in cell biology texts that focus on the plasma membrane.
 
  • #4
There is a third but accepted mechanism : No pump, no protein and it works fine.
http://www.amolf.nl/news/news-archive/detailpage/back_to/news-archive/article/water-lends-protons-a-helping-hand//chash/ddde2cfa66/ [Broken]
http://www.spectroscopynow.com/coi/cda/detail.cda?id=10474&type=Feature&chId=2&page=1
Protons do not move freely in water, but form complexes with water molecules through hydrogen bonds, which allow protons to hop through water very efficiently. "One could use the picture of improving a dike with sandbags", explains Nibbering. A chain of people can transport the sandbags to the dike more efficiently and faster than each person working individually. Thus, protons hope from water molecule to molecule, just as sandbags hop from person to person.
 
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  • #5


Hello,

Thank you for your question. Ions can exist in various forms inside the cell, including dissolved in water. However, not all ions are aqueous inside the cell. For example, some ions may be bound to proteins or other molecules within the cell. Additionally, the cell's membrane acts as a barrier, preventing ions from freely moving in and out of the cell. This means that the concentration of ions inside the cell may be different from the surrounding environment.

In terms of hydrogen ions, they can exist in both dissolved and bound forms inside the cell. The process of cellular respiration involves pumping hydrogen ions out of the cell, creating a concentration gradient that drives the production of ATP. This process does not necessarily involve the ions being dissolved in water.

In terms of diffusion and osmosis, they can occur together in certain situations. For example, if there is a higher concentration of dissolved ions outside the cell, water may diffuse into the cell through osmosis, bringing some of those ions with it. However, this is not always the case and the movement of ions and water can occur independently.

I hope this helps answer your questions. Let me know if you have any further inquiries.

Best,
 

1. What are ions and how do they affect cells?

Ions are electrically charged particles that play a crucial role in many cellular processes. They can enter and exit cells through specialized channels and pumps, aiding in the transmission of nerve signals, maintenance of cell volume, and regulation of enzymatic reactions.

2. Are ions always present inside cells?

Yes, ions are essential for the proper functioning of cells and are always present inside them. However, the types and concentrations of ions may vary among different cell types and can change in response to external stimuli.

3. What is the difference between aqueous and non-aqueous ions?

Aqueous ions are those that are dissolved in water, while non-aqueous ions are those that are not dissolved in water and may be present in a solid or gaseous state. In cells, most ions are present in an aqueous form.

4. How do ions enter cells?

Ions can enter cells through specialized channels and pumps, which are membrane proteins that allow for the selective passage of specific ions. These channels and pumps are regulated by cellular processes and can be opened or closed to control the entry and exit of ions.

5. Can ions leave the cell?

Yes, ions can leave the cell through the same channels and pumps that they entered through. Additionally, some ions may be actively transported out of the cell by specialized pumps to maintain the appropriate balance of ions inside and outside of the cell.

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