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Electron Transport Chain Cellular Respiration Simple

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Most eukaryotic cells have mitochondria, which produce ATP from products of the citric acid cycle, fatty acid oxidation, and amino acid oxidation. At the mitochondrial inner membrane, electrons from NADH and FADH2 pass through the electron transport chain to oxygen, which is reduced to water. The electron transport chain comprises an enzymatic series of electron donors and acceptors. Each electron donor will pass electrons to a more electronegative acceptor, which in turn donates these electrons to another acceptor, a process that continues down the series until electrons are passed to oxygen, the most electronegative and terminal electron acceptor in the chain. Passage of electrons between donor and acceptor releases energy, which is used to generate a proton gradient across the mitochondrial membrane by actively "pumping" protons into the intermembrane space, producing a thermodynamic state that has the potential to do work. This entire process is called oxidative phosphorylation, since ADP is phosphorylated to ATP using the energy of hydrogen oxidation in many steps.

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