The process in which energy is liberated from organic molecules producing ATP.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

34
votes
5answers
10k views

What does the human body use oxygen for besides the final electron acceptor in the electron transport chain?

My biology teachers never explained why animals need to breathe oxygen, just that we organisms die if we don't get oxygen for too long. Maybe one of them happened to mention that its used to make ATP. ...
24
votes
1answer
10k views

Why is the Krebs cycle considered a part of aerobic metabolism if molecular oxygen is not involved in any of the reactions in the cycle

Why is the Krebs cycle considered a part of aerobic metabolism if molecular oxygen is not involved in any of the reactions in the cycle? I originally thought that Krebs cycle was aerobic metabolism ...
20
votes
4answers
5k views

Where does the 'C' in exhaled CO₂ mostly come from?

When a human being exhales CO₂, what is, by the numbers, the main source of carbon atoms exiting the body in this way? I mean what class of cells, or which tissues are the biggest on a pie chart of ...
19
votes
3answers
84k views

NADH vs. NADPH: Where is each one used and why that instead of the other?

I know NADH is used in cellular respiration and NADPH is used in photosynthesis. What difference does the phosphate group make that the same one isn't or can't be used for both? Is there a greater ...
17
votes
1answer
728 views

How fast does the rotor in ATP synthase spin?

I'm sure the exact frequency varies, but does anyone know roughly how many revolutions per minute / second the rotating center part makes?
15
votes
1answer
4k views

Given ATP synthase's structure, how can 3.33 protons ultimately synthesize one and only one ATP?

I am familiar with the structure and function of ATP synthase, but one small detail doesn't seem to make sense. It also happens to be a detail that seems very hard to express. Depending on the ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Where is the line between Anaerobic and Aerobic?

I am well aware of traditional anaerobic respiration (lactic acid or alcohol produced - no Krebs cycle) and traditional aerobic respiration (O2 is used at the end of the Citric acid cycle). I am ...
12
votes
2answers
695 views

Do mitochondria simply automatically convert glucose to ATP?

I wonder whether there is any intelligent decision-making in mitochondria in the timing of their operation. Do they simply begin ATP production as soon as the correct reactants are present? Or, ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do neurons die so quickly (relative to other cells) when deprived of oxygen?

This question could be considered a follow-up question to Why is a lack of oxygen fatal to cells?, although the top answer there does not address why damage starts to pop in. The answer says this: ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Do fish break a water molecule to absorb oxygen?

How do fish separate oxygen from H20 & consume it? Do they break the water molecule and absorb the oxygen only?
11
votes
2answers
843 views

Could hydrogen replace oxygen in cellular respiration?

I was wondering what oxygen actually does in the body. I have seen a few answers to other questions that involve the electron chain and I am really not sure what that is. So I was wondering what ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

Why do red blood cells contain haemoglobin and not myoglobin?

So I am reading about muscles and I come across myoglobin. It has a much higher affinity for oxygen than haemoglobin. So why have animals evolved to have haemoglobin in red blood cells, rather than ...
11
votes
1answer
27k views

How do prokaryotes perform cellular respiration without membrane-bound organelles?

In order to survive, prokaryotes such as bacteria need to produce energy from food such as glucose. In eukaryotic cells, respiration is performed by mitochondria, but prokaryotic cells do not have ...
11
votes
2answers
11k views

Why is a lack of oxygen fatal to cells?

In animals temporary anaerobic respiration leads to the breakdown of the pyruvate formed by glycolysis into lactate. The buildup of lactate in the bloodstream is accompanied by a large number of ...
7
votes
5answers
12k views

Why don't we breathe nitrogen when it makes most of the air?

Why don't we breathe nitrogen while it makes most of the air? Why do we always tend to breathe oxygen, not hydrogen and nitrogen?
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is oxygen needed for the electron transfer phosphorylation?

I understand that oxygen is the acceptor of electrons and hydrogen ions during the electron transfer phosphorylation, the last step off the ATP-producing aerobic respiration. But why? Aren't there ...
7
votes
1answer
431 views

What preceded ATP synthase?

ATP Synthase is ubiquitous throughout life on earth and so most probably evolved within the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) before that lineage diversified into the various kingdoms of life. ...
7
votes
1answer
117 views

Cell Respiration and Oxidative Phosphorylation

Why and how does the proton travelling through the stalked particle in the inner mitochondrial membrane, cause a conformational change in the ATPase?
7
votes
2answers
831 views

What effect does ambient temperature have on the cardiovascular system?

I am sorry if this is not appropriate for this site, but I think it fits so I am asking it here: I went for a run yesterday, and it was about -8⁰C. I was wearing a couple pairs of shorts, a t-shirt ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a relationship between efficiency of cellular metabolism and warm-blooded-ness?

My BIO 101 book states that when human cells convert glucose to ATP, the process is only approx 35% efficient, and much of the potential energy is lost as heat. However, that heat is useful to us in ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How does the enzyme ATP Synthase use a proton concentration gradient to make ATP?

I understand what the enzyme ATP synthase does, but I'm not exactly sure how it does it. I've heard that it uses rotary catalysis, but how exactly does this work? How is the energy from the H+ ion ...
6
votes
1answer
380 views

Why is ATP produced in photosynthesis used to synthesize glucose?

In photosynthesis ATP is produced in light-dependent reactions only to go to the Calvin cycle to be turned into glucose to make ATP during respiration: Why isn't this ATP just directly released ...
5
votes
2answers
434 views

How is respiration an unbalanced equation

The equation for respiration is C6H12O6+6O2→6CO2+6H2O+36ATP. The chemical formula for ATP is C10H16N5O13P3. How is this possible, since it violates the law of conservation of mass because it is ...
5
votes
2answers
80 views

Does the formation of water inside the mitochondrial matrix help contribute to the proton gradient during the electron transport chain?

Does the synthesis of water in the final step of the electron transport chain significantly increase the electrochemical gradient across the matrix? I understand that pumping protons out of the matrix ...
5
votes
2answers
292 views

If higher levels of atmospheric oxygen can lead to larger animals, can it also lead to larger plants?

According to some information, in the ancient past (at least some) animals grew larger due to a higher levels of oxygen in the atmosphere. So for example there is this study regarding dragonflies. ...
5
votes
1answer
674 views

Why does muscle tissue have relatively constant AMP + ADP + AMP?

I was going over slides of energy expenditure in muscle cells. It mentions that in muscle tissue, the cell's energy charge ([ATP] / [AMP]) is the principle factor controlling glycolytic activity, and ...
5
votes
1answer
235 views

Fermentation to acetic acid

How much time is needed for the fermentation to acetic acid production cycle, and the conversion of apple vinegar in a sealed container incubated at 37 °C? Should be in the fully closed? What is ...
5
votes
1answer
362 views

What is the benefit for cells having the ATP production regulated in mitochondria compared to being from the nucleus?

Mitochondria have their own DNA and appear to be loosely connected to the nucleus and it role. Why are the functions of mitochondria not in the nucleus? Why doesn't the nucleus control the ...
5
votes
3answers
633 views

Aerobic vs anaerobic respiration comparison

The following graphs compare glucose decomposition in yeasts (in anaerobic vs aerobic conditions respectively) My question is, why doesn't the first one look like a straight line as the second one ...
4
votes
2answers
114 views

What's the point of glycolysis in fermentation?

In order to initiate glycolysis, 2 ATP are necessary. In the glycolytic process, you generate an additional 4 ATP, which results in a net gain of 2 ATP. If you don't undergo glycolysis, however, then ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Is there an evolutionary reason for the 5 electron transport complexes in plants and animals?

The electron transport chains of both the light reactions of photosynthesis (in plants) and oxidative phosphorylation (in animals) both contain 5 complexes including ATP synthase, as shown below. ...
4
votes
2answers
105 views

Why don't protons diffuse out of the mitochondria during chemiosmosis?

If the outer membrane of the mitochondria is very permeable, how do mitochondria maintain a proton gradient by pumping protons into the intermembrane space? Wouldn't they just diffuse into the cytosol?...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Cellular Respiration/Fermentation Problem Leading to Lack of Energy

A young animal has never had much energy. He is brought to a veterinarian for help and is sent to the animal hospital for some tests. There they discover his mitochondria can use only fatty acids and ...
4
votes
1answer
42 views

Need for two oxygen sensors in E. coli

E. coli has two oxygen sensors: FNR (fumarate-nitrate reductase) and ArcBA (Anoxic Redox Control, two component control systems). FNR directly senses the oxygen, while the interaction of ArcB with ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

What are the molecular mechanisms that make the turtle brain more resistant to hypoxia?

I know that turtle brains, particularly those of individual species that hibernate and burrow are particularly resilient to hypoxia and any tissue damage secondary to a hypoxic event. What are the ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

Do all prokaryotes have ATP synthases and an electron transport chain?

I was looking this up and I'm wondering if so far I'm correct about the following: For the most part eukaryotes do aerobic respiration, which involves glycolysis, the Krebs cycle and oxidative ...
3
votes
1answer
203 views

Membrane Permeability to Pyruvate

Pyruvate seems to pass easily through the outer membrane of the mitochondrion but has difficulty entering the inner membrane (and gets in by H+ symport). I have two questions: (1) what property of ...
3
votes
1answer
909 views

Mitochondria - are they really separate organisms that once merged into eukaryotic cells?

Theoretically, mitochondria are said to be a separate organism that is concerned with its own life and its own processes. In fact, it even duplicates individually. I know a similar question is here ...
3
votes
1answer
179 views

ATP utilized in Glycolysis vs. Gluconeogenesis

In glycolysis, the conversion of glucose to pyruvate results in a net gain of 2 ATP molecules. In gluconeogenesis however, the conversion of pyruvate back to glucose requires 6 ATP molecules. Why ...
3
votes
0answers
18 views

Potential homogeneity across cell membrane

During respiration, individual bacteria (and mitocondria) produce a relatively large potential difference (∼100 mV) between the inside and outside, using energy to pump $H^+$ out of the cell to the ...
2
votes
3answers
8k views

Do cold blooded animals generate any heat?

In explaining energy and work to an 8 year-old I said that all conversion of energy generates heat as a by-product. For example, cars generate heat in their engines and running generates heat in our ...
2
votes
3answers
124 views

What product of cellular respiration creates an acid when in solution with water?

What product of cellular respiration creates an acid when in solution with water? Topic question really, haven't been able to find a direct answer.
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does NAD+ become reduced if it gains a hydrogen proton?

I've heard that $NAD^+$ gains a Hydrogen proton during glycolysis and the Krebs cycle and becomes reduced to $NADH$. However, isn't reduction when a molecule receives an electron? Maybe I've been ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Are there differences in energy of glucose isomers?

There are many isomers of glucose, including galactose and fructose. Do they have different chemical energy levels, and why? What makes galactose and fructose useful compared to glucose, and would ...
2
votes
1answer
236 views

If oxygen deficiency is bad even for a short while, why do people swim?

This may be trivia to many of you. Textbook says the oxygen deficiency, even for a short while can injure our cells. Then why do people go for sports like swimming? (where rhythmic breathing is ...
2
votes
1answer
167 views

Source of hydrogen in reduction of oxygen in electron transport?

What's the source of hydrogen in the reduction of oxygen to water in metabolism? Is this implying that half the hydrogen comes from NADH and the other half from lone protons?
2
votes
0answers
31 views

What is the circulation that allows for nutrient absorption and excrete of metabolic wastes in humans? [closed]

Pulmonary veins carry oxygenated blood from lungs to heart, while pulmonary arteries carry deoxygenated/CO2 rich blood from heart to lungs. On the other hand, systemic arteries carry oxygen-rich blood ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

Can the respiratory quotient be calculated from a formula or must it be measured directly?

I found the following question on the Respiratory quotient: A normal human diet has a Respiratory quotient (RQ) of approximately 0.85. Given that pure oxidation of fatty acids has a Respiratory ...
2
votes
0answers
77 views

Critical pO2 threshold for cell division?

I'm a physicist asking questions on an aspect of cellular metabolism, so excuse my biological ignorance! Hypoxia is a frequent complication of certain tumour types, and has quite an implication for ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

ATP yield of fermentation: study to cite?

Everywhere I find the ATP yields of respiratory and fermentative metabolism of glycolysis. While that of oxidative phosphorilation I could find in Stryer to cite one study where this was addressed (...