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ATP and Oxidative Phosphorylation

Biological oxidation reactions serve two functions:

  1. Oxidation of organic molecules can produce new molecules with different properties (e.g., an increase in solubility is observed on hydroxylation of aromatic substrates by cytochrome P450) and Likewise, amino acids can be oxidized to produce neurotransmitters.
  2. Most biological oxidation reactions occur, however, to produce energy to drive thermodynamically unfavored biological processes such as protein and nucleic acid synthesis, or motility.

Chemical potential energy is not just released in biological oxidation reactions. Rather, it is transduced into a more useful form of chemical energy in the molecule ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This chapter will discuss the properties that make ATP so useful biologically, and how exergonic biological oxidation reactions are coupled to the synthesis of ATP.

  1. Properties of ATP
  2. Coupling of Oxidations/Synthesis of ATP Under Anaerobic Conditions
  3. Coupling of Ox/Phos Under Aerobic Conditions
  4. Recent Confirmation of the Boyer Hypothesis
  5. How Does the pH Gradient Collapse Lead to ATP Synthesis?
  6. Can a Proton Gradient Supply Enough Energy for ATP Synthesis?


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