Electrons role in Cellular Respiration

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Electrons role in Cellular Respiration

Post by lsfii2 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:05 am

Alright, so we are studying the process of cellular respiration in class. My teacher gave us an assignment were we have to create a depiction of the pathway the electrons take during cellular respiration, beginning with glucose and ending with water. Seems easy enough but, there isn't alot of information on the role of electrons during cellular respiration. This is what I have so far can anyone help:

-Glucose releases 2 electrons which are picked up by NAD (changed to NADH + H+). This NAD moves to the Electron Transport Chain (assuming O2 is present, as otherwise they would move Fermentation).

-When broken down in Kreb's Cycle, Pyruvate releases 8 electrons (4 each) which are picked up by 6 NAD and 2 FAD (again they change to add the -H + H+).

This is now where I start to get confused. So the NADH + H+ and FADH + H+ drop of their electrons at the different I believe they are called proteins present in the ETC (NADH Dehydrogenase, Cytochrome Reductase, and Cytochrome Oxilase). Now I am somewhat lost. THe electrons help diffuse H+ up the proteins (I understand what the H+ does and how it needs a higher concentration on top etc. so no need to go into depth on that), but what else to the electrons do in the ETC?

Thanks alot for the help!

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Post by plasmodesmata11 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:20 am

They reduce oxygen to water with help from protons; the protons going to water maintains the gradient so they keep flowing through ATP Synthase. That's why we need oxygen. Besides providing the energy to move protons, they don't do much else.

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