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  Chemistry in 24 Hours

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Electron Transport and Oxidative phosphorylation

Topic Review on "Title":

The electron transport system is the place in the cell where electrons generated by oxidation are transferred. Passage of the electrons through the system generates potential energy that is used to make ATP in oxidative phosphorylation.

Components of electron transport chain
Components of ETC are arranged in the inner mitochondrial membrane involved in the process of electron transport. In biological system, fuel molecules are oxidized by losing electrons, which are transferred through the carrier molecules like NAD and FAD. Finally electrons are donated to oxygen to reduce it to a water molecule. Coenzyme Q is a respiratory electron carrier. Cytochromes are a group of heme containing proteins. The major respiratory cytochromes are b, c and c1 and a or a3.

Electron Transport – Carriers and arrangement of carriers into complexes
Integral membrane proteins embedded in the inner mitochondrial membrane are arranged into complex I, II, III and IV. They accept or donate electrons from preceding carrier to the following in sequence.

Pathway of Electron Transfer through the Carriers
I NADH dehydrogenase, II Succinate dehydrogenase, III CoQ – Cytochrome c oxidoreductase, and   IV Cytochrome oxidase are the four complexes. Electrons are transferred through these complexes. Through complex I, III and IV, protons are pumped out of mitochondrial matrix creating proton gradient.

Proton Motive Force
Coupling of ATP synthesis to electron transfer via an electrochemical H+ gradient across a membrane is called chemiosmosis. Energy from electron transport drives an active transport system which pumps protons out of the mitochondrial matrix into inter- membrane space. An electrochemical gradient of protons is created, with a lower pH value outside the inner mitochondrial membrane than inside. The protons on the outside have a thermodynamic tendency to flow back in, so as to equalize pH on both sides of the membrane.

ATP Synthesis
 When protons from inter-membrane space do flow back into the matrix, the free energy arising from the gradient is used to drive the synthesis of ATP. ATP synthase also called complex V is the site where ADP is phosphorylated to ATP.

Rapid Study Kit for "Title":
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"Title" Tutorial Summary :

The electron transport system is the place in the cell where electrons generated by oxidation are transferred. Passage of the electrons through the system generates potential energy that is used to make ATP in oxidative phosphorylation. ETC is a set of proteins and other electron carrying molecules in the inner membrane of the mitochondrion. There are four distinct multi protein complexes: they are names as complex I, II, III and IV. They are connected by two mobile carriers, coenzyme Q and Cytochrome C. The protein complexes function in transfer of electrons from reduced carriers in sequence to the final acceptor oxygen molecule that is reduced to water. Oxidative phosphorylation is process where the energy of biological oxidation is ultimately converted to the chemical energy of ATP.

Tutorial Features:
  • Concept map of metabolism is shown.
  • Concept map of ETC and oxidative phosphorylation.
  • Complexes I to IV are diagrammatically explained.
  • ETC complexes are tabulated with their prosthetic groups.
  • ATP-ADP cycle is animated and described.

"Title" Topic List:


  • Definitions
  • Mitochondria structure outline
  • Electron carriers – Facts
  • ATP structure
  • ATP-ADP cycle

Components of ETC

  • Definition
  • Standard reduction potential
  • Reaction of ETC
  • Energy released during electron transport

Electron Transport – Carriers and arrangement of carriers into complexes

  • Entry of electrons into complex I.
  • Complex I
  • Complex II
  • Complex III
  • Complex IV

Pathway of Electron Transfer through the Carriers

  • Summary of flow of electrons and protons
  • Thermodynamics of ETC

Proton Motive Force

  • Definition
  • The chemiosmotic model
  • Principle of chemiosmosis
  • Development of proton motive force

ATP Synthesis

  • Complex V ( ATP synthase)
  • Uncoupling of ETC and Oxidative phosphorylation
  • Control of ATP production
  • P:O ratio

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