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Cooperativity Has Empirical and Ultimate Levels of Explanation.

  • Author(s): Ehlert, Frederick J
  • et al.

Controversy over the meaning of pharmacological parameters often arises because of a lack of appreciation of different hierarchical levels of analysis. In a recent letter in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Zhang and Kavana [1] concluded that my two-state model for allosterism lacks cooperativity, even though Figures 5 and 6 in my review [2] illustrate examples of how the two-state model yields specific cooperativity values. Here, I explain how the two-state model (receptor-state analysis) gives rise to the cooperativity parameter (α) of the allosteric ternary complex model (receptor-population analysis).

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