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Biology Hand Out Cellular Respiration

Cells break down glucose and other organic fuels to yield chemical energy in the form of ATP. Fermentation is a partial degradation of glucose without the use of oxygen. Cellular respiration is a more complete breakdown of glucose; in aerobic respiration, oxygen is used as a reactant. The cell taps the energy stored in food molecules through redox reactions, in which one substance partially or totally shifts electrons to another. Oxidation is the loss of electrons from one substance, while reduction is the addition of electrons to the other. During aerobic respiration, glucose (C6H12O6) is oxidized to CO2, and O2 is reduced to H2O. Electrons lose potential energy during their transfer from glucose or other organic compounds to oxygen. Electrons are usually passed first to NAD+, reducing it to NADH, and then from NADH to an electron transport chain, which conducts them to O2 in energyreleasing steps. The energy is used to make ATP. Aerobic respiration occurs in three stages: 1. Glycolysis 2. Pyruvate oxidation and the citric acid cycle (Krebs Cylcle) 3. Oxidative phosphorylation (electron transport and chemiosmosis).

Glycolysis: In glycolysis, glucose (a compound with six carbon atoms) is broken down to two pyruvate molecules (with three carbons each), producing a net gain of two ATP molecules and two NADH molecules. The two ATP are made via substrate-level phosphorylation, which occurs when an enzyme directly transfers a phosphate from an organic molecule to ADP. In eukaryotes, glycolysis occurs in the cytosol.

References: Reece, J. B., et.al. Campbell Biology 9th ed., 2011. Brooker, R. J., et.al. Biology 2nd ed., 2008.

Biology Hand Out Breakdown of pyruvate to an acetyl group: The two pyruvate molecules enter the mitochondrial matrix, where each one is broken down to an acetyl group (with two carbons each) and one CO2 molecule. For each pyruvate broken down via oxidation, one NADH molecule is made by the reduction of NAD+.

Citric acid cycle: Each acetyl group is incorporated into an organic molecule, which is later oxidized to liberate two CO2 molecules. One ATP, three NADH, and one FADH2 are made in this process. Because there are two acetyl groups (one from each pyruvate), the total yield is four CO2, two ATP via substrate-level phosphorylation, six NADH, and two FADH2. This process occurs in the mitochondrial matrix.

References: Reece, J. B., et.al. Campbell Biology 9th ed., 2011. Brooker, R. J., et.al. Biology 2nd ed., 2008.

Biology Hand Out Oxidative phosphorylation: The NADH and FADH2 made in the three previous stages contain high-energy electrons that can be readily transferred in a redox reaction to other molecules. Once removed from NADH or FADH2 via oxidation, these high-energy electrons release some energy, and that energy is harnessed to produce H+ electrochemical gradient. In the process of chemiosmosis, energy stored in the H+ electrochemical gradient is used to synthesize ATP from ADP and Pi (orthophosphate). This process is called phosphorylation because ADP has become phosphorylated. Approximately 30 to 32 ATP molecules are made via chemiosmosis. Oxidative phosphorylation is accomplished by two components: the electron transport chain and ATP synthase.

NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, a derivative of the vitamin niacin). FADH ( Flavin adenine dinucleotide) ADP (Adenosine diphosphate) ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) Pi (inorganic phosphate)

References: Reece, J. B., et.al. Campbell Biology 9th ed., 2011. Brooker, R. J., et.al. Biology 2nd ed., 2008.

Biology Hand Out ATP yield per molecule of glucose at each stage of cellular respiration.

References: Reece, J. B., et.al. Campbell Biology 9th ed., 2011. Brooker, R. J., et.al. Biology 2nd ed., 2008.