Mitochondrial Structure & ETC Protein Complexes (Protein Complexes and Electron Transport)




The energy carrying molecules, NADH and FADH2, that were generated in glycolysis and the Krebs cycle, now are processed in the mitochondria where their high energy electrons are deposited in an electron chain complex located in the inner mitochondrial membranes. These high-energy electrons now drive the synthesis of ATP. Outer membrane: the outer membrane is not convoluted, as is the inner membrane. Inner membrane: the protein complexes of the electron transport chain are located here. Outer compartment (intermembrane space): a proton concentration gradient builds up here that will drive ATP formation. Inner compartment (matrix): the reactions of the Krebs cycle occur here. A series of electron carrier proteins are embedded in the inner mitochondria! membrane. There are three main protein complexes, plus an enzyme complex called ATP synthase. Their arrangement close to each other is important because electrons will be transferred from one complex to the adjacent one. For every NADH molecule, two electrons are transported from NADH to Complex 1. These electrons travel downstream through the chain where they give up their energy in discrete steps. Some of this energy is used to pump protons (H+) from the mitochondrial matrix (inner compartment) across the inner membrane and into the outer compartment (intermembrane space).



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