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Electron Transport Chain

SBI4U

Electron Transport Chain


Now we move to the inner mitochondrial membrane

mitochondria

Formation of Acetyl CoA

Electron Transport Chain


The electron transport chain is also called the ETC The components of the ETC are arranged in order of increasing electronegativity The weakest attractor of electrons , NADH dehydrogenase, is at the beginning of the chain and the strongest, cytochrome oxidase, at the end

Electron Transport Chain


Each component is reduced by gaining 2 electrons from the component before it in the chain The component that loses the two electrons to the next component is therefore oxidized REMEMBER: Leo- lose electrons oxidized Ger- gain electrons reduced

Electron Transport Chain


As the electrons move from molecule to molecule in the ETC they occupy more stable positions relative to the nuclei of the atoms they associate with The energy released in the process is used to move protons (H+ ions) from the mitochondrial matrix into the intermembrane space

Electron Transport Chain


So how does it all work? NADH gives up its two electrons to the first protein complex in the ETC- NADH dehydrogenase

Electron Transport Chain


The mobile electron carrier ubiquinone (Q) shuttle the electrons to the next protein complex The second protein complex is cytochrome b-c1 complex

Electron Transport Chain


The mobile electron carrier cytochrome c shuttles the two electrons to the next protein complex The third protein complex is the cytochrome oxidase complex

Electron Transport Chain


Since the components of the ETC increase in electronegativity, a highly electronegative substance is required to oxidize the last protein complex Oxygen is one of the most electronegative substances on Earth and it is used to do this Oxygen strips the 2 electrons from the final protein complex and together with two protons from the matrix, forms a water molecule An enzyme, cytochrome oxidase, which is part of the cytochrome oxidase complex, catalyzes this reaction

Electron Transport Chain


Oxygen acts as the final electron acceptor in the whole process If the process occurs in anaerobic conditions, glycolysis will occur but the pyruvates will never enter the mitochondria

Electron Transport Chain


The electron transport process is highly exergonic The energy lost by the electron pair during electron transport is used to pump three protons into the intermembrane space of the mitochondria This converts the energy from the electron into electrochemical energy of a proton gradient

Electron Transport Chain


NADH and FADH2 transfer electrons to the electron transport chain in a different location NADH passes its electrons to the first protein complex, NADH dehydrogenase This allows electrons to be passed through 3 protein complexes and therefore pumps three protons into the intermembrane space

Electron Transport Chain


FADH2 transfers its electrons to the mobile electron carrier, Q, the second component of the chain The energy released from the oxidation of FADH2 is used to pump two protons into the intermembrane space This will result in 2 ATP formed per FADH2 and 3 ATP formed per NADH

Electron Transport Chain


A distinction must also be made between NADH molecules produced during glycolysis and those produced inside of the mitochondria NADH produced in the cytoplasm through glycolysis can diffuse through the outer mitochondrial membrane into the intermembrane space NADH cannot diffuse through the inner mitochondrial membrane

Electron Transport Chain


Since the inner mitochondrial membrane is impermeable to NADH it has a shuttle system that passes the electrons

Shuttle system: Glycerol-phosphate shuttle - most common - transfers the electrons from NADH in the cytoplasm to FAD to produce FADH2 - FADH2 will transfer its electrons to Q - 2 ATP will be made

Electron Transport Chain


How does the structure of the mitochondria improve this process? The many folds of the inner membrane increase surface area This allows multiple copies of the ETC to be located throughout the mitochondrion

Electron Transport Chain


What happens to the leftover NAD+ and FAD molecules? There is always a limited number of NAD+ and FAD molecules in a cell These molecules need to be recycled They become available for use in glycolysis, the formation of acetyl CoA and the Krebs Cycle

RECAP!