The temperature dependence of permeation across human red cell membranes has been determined for a series of hydrophilic and lipophilic solutes, including urea and two methyl substituted derivatives, all the straight-chain amides from formamide through valeramide and the two isomers, isobutyramide and isovaleramide. The temperature coefficient for permeation by all the hydrophilic solutes is 12 kcal mol-1 or less, whereas that for all the lipophilic solutes is 19 kcal mol-1 or greater. This difference is consonant with the view that hydrophilic molecules cross the membrane by a path different from that taken by the lipophilic ones. The thermodynamic parameters associated with lipophile permeation have been studied in detail. ΔG is negative for adsorption of lipophilic amides onto an oil-water interface, whereas it is positive for transfer of the polar head from the aqueous medium to bulk lipid solvent. Application of absolute reaction rate theory makes it possible to make a clear distinction between diffusion across the water-red cell membrane interface and diffusion within the membrane. Diffusion coefficients and apparent activation enthalpies and entropies have been computed for each process. Transfer of the polar head from the solvent into the interface is characterized by ΔG = 0 kcal mol-1 and ΔS negative, whereas both of these parameters have large positive values for diffusion within the membrane. Diffusion within the membrane is similar to what is expected for diffusion through a highly associated viscous fluid.

This content is only available as a PDF.