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 clearly increases the positive charge in the intermembrane space, but the chemical reaction in Complex IV
O2 + 4H+ + 4e− → 2H2O also reduces the protons in the matrix by binding them in water.
Since ATP synthase relies entirely on the electrochemical proton gradient, it seems like this might be worth mentioning, yet I haven't seen this explicitly explored in any textbooks. If there is any literature about this topic, I would love to see it.