Overview Of Aerobic Respiration

Aerobic respiration has two major stages: the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain, which is associated with chemiosmosis (using the energy released as protons move across a membrane to make ATP). In the Krebs cycle, the oxidation of glucose that began with glycolysis is completed. As glucose is oxidized, NAD+ is reduced to NADH. In the electron transport chain, NADH is used to make ATP. Although the Krebs cycle also produces a small amount of ATP, most of the ATP produced during aerobic respiration is made through the activities of the electron transport chain and chemiosmosis. The reactions of the Krebs cycle, the electron transport chain, and chemiosmosis occur only if oxygen is present in the cell.

In prokaryotes, the reactions of the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain take place in the cytosol of the cell. In eukaryotic cells, however, these reactions take place inside mitochondria rather than in the cytosol. The pyruvic acid that is produced in gly-colysis diffuses across the double membrane of a mitochondrion and enters the mitochondrial matrix. The mitochondrial matrix is the space inside the inner membrane of a mitochondrion. Figure 7-8 illustrates the relationships between these mitochondrial parts. The mitochondrial matrix contains the enzymes needed to catalyze the reactions of the Krebs cycle.

Outer membrane Inner membrane

Cristae Matrix

Outer membrane Inner membrane

Cristae Matrix

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