Cellular Respiration


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  • Process that helps break down carbohydrates to build ATP.
  • Requires oxygen to occur and gives off carbon dioxide as a result.
  • Helps breakdown glucose into water and carbon dioxide.

Stage 1: Glycolysis - 2 ATP Produced

  • Takes place in the cytoplasm
  • Series of reactions that break down glucose in half, thus two smaller molecules of pyruvate result.
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Stage 2: Citric Acid / Krebs Cycle - 2 ATP produced

  • Takes place in the mitochondria.
  • Receives Pyruvate from glycolysis
  • Turns glycolysis into NADH/FADH2, thus sending NADH/FADH2 to the Electron Transport Chain
  • Series of reactions that strip electrons from the bonds between the carbon and hydrogen atoms that were originally in glucose and are now in pyruvate.
  • All electrons are passed to NADH and FADH₂ , which are electron carriers.
  • Electron carriers carry them to the inner membrane of the mitochondria.
  • Will stop if no oxygen is available
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Stage 3: Electron Transport Chain - 36 ATP produced

  • Takes place in the mitochondria.
  • Fuels the bulk of ATP production.
  • Allows for the creation of a hydrogen gradient aka the engine for ATP production.
  • NADH+ and FADH2 pass on electrons that move through the electron transportation chain.
  • Every time they go through one of the protein complexes, the complexes are going to pump another proton ion out, therefore creating a hydrogen filled inner-membrane space.
  • The protons move through a concentration gradient into the ATP synthase, thereby generating ATP.
  • ATP is produced because the H+ is attached to ADP and Pi which forms ATP.
Introduction to cellular respiration | Cellular respiration | Biology | Khan Academy