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Oxidative phosphorylation

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A metabolic pathway that generates ATP from ADP through phosphorylation that derives the energy from the oxidation of nutrients.


Oxidative phosphorylation is an enzymatic process that occurs in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In eukaryotes, the process occurs as part of cellular respiration within the mitochondrion. In prokaryotes, it occurs in the cell membrane itself.

This process is a more efficient method to produce ATP (in terms of net ATP yield) than fermentation.

The process however involves oxidation that it produces reactive oxygen species, which contributes to the propagation of free radicals.

See also: phosphorylation, electron transport chain, ATP