The Electron Transport Chain and Oxidative Phosphorylation
The electron transport chain (ETC) is a series of biochemical reactions that take place in the inner mitochondrial membrane of cells. The chain is responsible for the transfer of electrons from one molecule to another, and ultimately, the transfer of electrons to oxygen. The electrons are used to generate a proton gradient across the membrane, which is used to drive the synthesis of ATP and other energy-rich compounds. This process is known as oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos). OxPhos is the major source of ATP in the cell. It is a complex process that involves the transfer of electrons from NADH and FADH2 to the electron transport chain and the transfer of electrons from the electron transport chain to oxygen. The energy from the electron transfer is used to pump protons across the membrane, creating a proton gradient. This proton gradient is then used to drive the production of ATP. Recent studies have demonstrated that OxPhos is a highly regulated process, and that its regulation is largely dependent on the availability of energy substrates and cofactors, as well as the oxygen concentration in the mitochondria. Cont…
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