You are watching: What is the main biochemical function of the electron transport chain?
What perform trains, trucks, boats, and also planes all have in common? castle are ways to transport. And they all usage a lot of energy. To make ATP, energy must be "transported" - first from glucose to NADH, and then somehow passed come ATP. Exactly how is this done? through an electron deliver chain, the third stage of aerobic respiration. This 3rd stage uses energy to make energy.
The Electron deliver Chain: ATP because that Life in the rapid Lane
At the finish of the Krebs Cycle, energy from the gaianation.netical bond of glucose is save on computer in varied energy carrier molecules: four ATPs, but likewise two FADH\(_2\) and also ten NADH molecules. The major task of the last stage of cellular respiration, the electron transfer chain, is come transfer energy from the electron carriers to even much more ATP molecules, the "batteries" i beg your pardon power job-related within the cell.
Pathways for making ATP in stage 3 of aerobic respiration carefully resemble the electron deliver chains used in photosynthesis. In both electron transport chains, power carrier molecules space arranged in sequence within a membrane so the energy-carrying electron cascade native one come another, losing a tiny energy in each step. In both photosynthesis and also aerobic respiration, the power lost is harnessed to pump hydrogen ions right into a compartment, creating an electrogaianation.netical gradient or gaianation.netiosmotic gradient throughout the enclosing membrane. And in both processes, the power stored in the gaianation.netiosmotic gradient is supplied with ATP synthase to construct ATP.
For aerobic respiration, the electron carry chain or "respiratory chain" is installed in the inside membrane the the mitochondria (see number below). The FADH\(_2\) and NADH molecules created in glycolysis and the Krebs Cycle, donate high-energy electron to power carrier molecules within the membrane. As they happen from one carrier to another, the energy they lose is offered to pump hydrogen ions right into the mitochondrial intermembrane space, developing an electrogaianation.netical gradient. Hydrogen ions circulation "down" the gradient - from outer to within compartment - with the ion channel/enzyme ATP synthase, which transfers their energy to ATP. Keep in mind the paradox the it requires energy to create and maintain a concentration gradient of hydrogen ion that room then provided by ATP synthase to create stored power (ATP). In wide terms, that takes power to make energy. Coupling the electron carry chain to ATP synthesis v a hydrogen ion gradient is gaianation.netiosmosis, very first described through Nobel laureate Peter D. Mitchell. This process, the usage of energy to phosphorylate ADP and also produce ATP is additionally known together oxidative phosphorylation.
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After passing with the electron move chain, low-energy electrons and also low-energy hydrogen ions combine with oxygen to kind water. Thus, oxygen"s duty is to journey the entire set of ATP-producing reactions within the mitochondrion by accepting "spent" hydrogens. Oxygen is the last electron acceptor, no component of the process - indigenous the Krebs Cycle v the electron deliver chain- can happen without oxygen.
The electron transport chain can convert the power from one glucose molecule"s worth of \(FADH_2\) and also \(NADH\) + \(\ceH^+\) right into as plenty of as 34 ATP. When the 4 ATP produced in glycolysis and also the Krebs Cycle space added, the total of 38 ATP fits the in its entirety equation because that aerobic cellular respiration:
\< \ce6O2 + \underbrace\ceC6H12O6_\textstored gaianation.netical energy + \ce38 ADP + \text39 P_\texti \rightarrow \underbrace\ce38 ATP_\textstored gaianation.netical energy + \ce6CO2 + \ce6 H2O\>
Aerobic respiration is complete. If oxygen is available, cellular respiration move the power from one molecule of glucose to 38 molecules of ATP, publication carbon dioxide and water as waste. "Deliverable" food energy has come to be energy which can be offered for job-related within the cell - move within the cell, pump ions and also molecules throughout membranes, and also building huge organic molecules. Deserve to you see how this might lead come "life in the fast lane" contrasted to anaerobic respiration (glycolysis alone)?