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Thread: Movement along the proton motive chain in cell respiration

  1. #1 Movement along the proton motive chain in cell respiration 
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    When reading about the chemical process of electrons and protons moving along the various complexes, the book that I'm reading neglects to explain in detail the proton's role in ATP synthesis. How exactly does the proton motive chain help in the production of ATP? Do the electrons and protons work together in unison or use seperate pathways?


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    This is a biochem question, that probably would have gotten noticed earlier in the bio section.

    Now this is from memory so I wouldn't trust it completely, the electron moves along the ETC and this movement moves protons out into the intermembrane space of the mitochondria (or chloroplast stroma), which generates a concentration gradient. How the protons are moved out is usually by the electron carrier which is facing the matrix lumen when it picks up the electrons and thus picks up 2 protons, then when it passes the electrons along and loses the protons it is facing the intermembrane space so the protons get released on the other side of the membrane. (My biochem is taking a nosedive right now sorry).

    The protons want back in, but the inner membrane is impermeable to them, their only way through is through ATP synthase, which works a bit like a turbine, the movement of the protons across the membrane powers the formation of ATP.

    So in summary, the electron transport chain is used to generate proton motive force, and the proton motive force is used to power ATP synthase.


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    thx
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