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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Allosteric transition: a comparison of two models

Niels Bindslev

Author Affiliations

Synagics Lab, Endocrinology Section, Department of Biomedical Sciences, The Medical Faculty, Panum Building, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3, DK-2200, Copenhagen N, Denmark

BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology 2013, 14:4  doi:10.1186/2050-6511-14-4

Published: 8 January 2013



Two recent models are in use for analysis of allosteric drug action at receptor sites remote from orthosteric binding sites. One is an allosteric two-state mechanical model derived in 2000 by David Hall. The other is an extended operational model developed in 2007 by Arthur Christopoulos’s group. The models are valid in pharmacology, enzymology, transportology as well as several other fields of biology involving allosteric concentration effects.


I show here that Hall’s model for interactions between an orthoster, an alloster, and a receptive unit is the best choice of model both for simulation and analysis of allosteric concentration-responses at equilibrium or steady-state.


As detailed knowledge of receptors systems becomes available, systems with several pathways and states and/ or more than two binding sites should be analysed by extended forms of the Hall model rather than for instance a Hill type exponentiation of terms as introduced in non-mechanistic (operational) model approaches; yielding semi-quantitative estimates of actual system parameters based on Hill’s unlikely simultaneity model for G protein-coupled receptors.