Structure of the cristae membrane:
The internal surface the cristae membrane (that is, the surface in the direction of matrix) is enclosed with numerous (i.e., infinite) stalked particles. These are termed as F1 Particles, sub units or elementary particles. Such particles project into the matrix. All F1 particles have three parts, namely, the stalk, the head piece, and the base piece. The respiratory chain is located in the cristae membrane where the F1 particles are existed. The chain comprises of enzymes and co-enzymes that comprise the Electron Transport System (ETS) in the mitochondrion. These enzymes and co-enzymes of ETS act as the electron acceptors in the aerobic respiration reaction (i.e., Oxidative Phosphorylation).
In non photosynthetic cells the main fuels for ATP synthesis are glucose and fatty acids. The total aerobic degradation of glucose to CO2 and H2O is coupled to synthesis of as much as 38 molecules of ATP. In eukaryotic cells, the initial phases of glucose degradation take place in the cytosol, where 2 ATP molecules per glucose molecule are produced. The terminal phases including that phosphorylation coupled to ultimate oxidation by oxygen are taken out by enzymes in the mitochondrial cristae and matrix. As many as 34 ATP molecules per glucose molecule are produced in mitochondria though this value can differ since much of the energy discharged in mitochondrial oxidation can be employed for other purposes (example, heat production and the transport of molecules into or out of the mitochondrion) making less energy accessible for ATP synthesis. Likewise, virtually all the ATP formed during oxidation of fatty acids into CO2 is produced in the mitochondrion. Therefore the mitochondrion can be considered as the “Power plant” of the cell.
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