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Exploring the Function of Oxygen in the Cellular Respiration Equation

When we eat and digest food, it is broken down into smaller and smaller units until it becomes small enough to be used in our cells as glucose molecules . At the same time, we are breathing in oxygen that travels from our lungs through our bloodstream into smaller and smaller blood vessels until it reaches our cells. When the glucose and oxygen reach our cells, we have the materials we need to perform cellular respiration . This process starts in the cells’ cytoplasm and is completed in the mitochondria – the cellular powerhouse. In those tiny organelles, one molecule of glucose with 6 molecules of oxygen are changed into 36 molecules of ATP – the energy cells can use to get things done.

Cellular respiration (a three stage process) converts glucose and oxygen to ATP (the cellular form of energy) and releases carbon dioxide and water. This is cellular respiration.

Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide, And Energy - Exploring The Function Of Oxygen In The Cellular Respiration Equation


Note that: 1 molecule of glucose plus 6 molecules of oxygen are changed into about 36 molecules of ATP (energy) plus 6 molecules of water and 6 molecules of carbon dioxide during cellular respiration.

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For what do we use ATP? ATP is the energy that cells use to do their work. This, in turn, helps the body run smoothly and do its work like: breathe, circulate blood, digest, respond to stimuli, create new cells, repair and grow, move our muscles, etc. Everything you do uses energy.

So now we know that cellular respiration is a three stage process that converts glucose and oxygen to ATP and releases carbon dioxide and water. What are the 3 phases that do this? 1) Glycolysis 2) Krebs Cycle 3) The Electron Transport Chain (ETC)

Glycolysis is the process where 1 glucose molecule in the cell’s cytoplasm is broken down (through several steps) into 2 molecules of pyruvate, which is then used in the Kreb’s Cycle (stage 2). This break down also releases 2 ATP + 2 H2O + 2 NADH molecules. Krebs Cycle (Stage 2)

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To start the Krebs Cycle, pyruvate is pulled into the cell’s mitochondria and converted to Acetyl-CoA. The Acetyl-CoA molecule is then converted (through several steps and two complete turns of the Kreb’s Cycle) into 4 CO2 molecules, 6 NADH molecules, 2 ATP molecules and 2 FADH2 molecules. The Electron Transport Chain (ETC) (Stage 3)


The final stage – the Electron Transport Chain (ETC) is found in the mitochondria (in animals) and in the chloroplasts (in plants) and releases 32-34 ATP molecules when the electron transport chain produces a concentration gradient through which hydrogen moves across the membrane releasing energy as ATP (produced via the proton motive force). Fermentation

As we saw, cellular respiration needs oxygen to progress. What happens if there is no oxygen where an organism lives (anaerobic conditions)? In that case, the organism can still create energy, but through the process of fermentation. Fermentation happens in the cells’ cytoplasm (not in the mitochondria) and helps generate only 2 ATP molecules per glucose molecule (much less effective in generating energy than cellular respiration). Fermentation uses the pyruvate molecules made by glycolysis from glucose.

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The formula is: C6H12O6 (glucose) → CO2 + 2 C2H5OH (alcohol) and some energy In the making of wine and beer (alcohol), yeast cells generate ATP by the fermentation of the sugars in fruit and grain (in the absence of oxygen). Yeast can also release carbon dioxide in this process, which is what causes bread to rise. In animals, the lack of oxygen will drive muscle cells to carry on lactate fermentation which creates lactic acid causing sore and cramping muscles. This happens when you get so much exercise (say on a very long hike or run) so that your body runs low on oxygen for cellular respiration. Understanding Cellular Respiration

Carbohydrate + oxygen = carbon dioxide + water + ATP energy 2) Description of the molecules: created in all three stages of cellular respiration:

1 glucose → Glycolysis → Acetyl-CoA → Krebs Cycle 2 pyruvate 2 Acetyl-CoA 4 CO2 2 ATP 2 CO2 2 ATP 2NADH 2NADH 6NADH 2FADH2 3) Illustrations and Assessments : Study the following Diagrams (Cellular Respiration Models):

Cellular Respiration - Exploring The Function Of Oxygen In The Cellular Respiration Equation


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Cellular respiration is the process by which biological fuels are oxidised in the presce of an inorganic electron acceptor such as oxyg to produce large amounts of ergy, to drive the bulk production of ATP. Cellular respiration may be described as a set of metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms to convert chemical ergy from nutrits into adosine triphosphate (ATP), and th release waste products.

The reactions involved in respiration are catabolic reactions, which break large molecules into smaller ones, releasing ergy. Respiration is one of the key ways a cell releases chemical ergy to fuel cellular activity. The overall reaction occurs in a series of biochemical steps, some of which are redox reactions. Although cellular respiration is technically a combustion reaction, it is an unusual one because of the slow, controlled release of ergy from the series of reactions.

Cellular Respiration (Grade 6 8) - Exploring The Function Of Oxygen In The Cellular Respiration Equation


Nutrits that are commonly used by animal and plant cells in respiration include sugar, amino acids and fatty acids, and the most common oxidizing agt is molecular oxyg (O

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The chemical ergy stored in ATP (the bond of its third phosphate group to the rest of the molecule can be brok allowing more stable products to form, thereby releasing ergy for use by the cell) can th be used to drive processes requiring ergy, including biosynthesis, locomotion or transport of molecules across cell membranes.

) in order to create ATP. Although carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are consumed as reactants, aerobic respiration is the preferred method of pyruvate breakdown in glycolysis, and requires pyruvate to the mitochondria in order to be fully oxidized by the citric acid cycle. The products of this process are carbon dioxide and water, and the ergy transferred is used to break bonds in ADP to add a third phosphate group to form ATP (adosine triphosphate), by substrate-level phosphorylation, NADH and FADH2

Is converted to more ATP through an electron transport chain with oxyg and protons (hydrog) as the “terminal electron acceptors”. Most of the ATP produced by aerobic cellular respiration is made by oxidative phosphorylation. The ergy released is used to create a chemiosmotic pottial by pumping protons across a membrane. This pottial is th used to drive ATP synthase and produce ATP from ADP and a phosphate group. Biology textbooks oft state that 38 ATP molecules can be made per oxidized glucose molecule during cellular respiration (2 from glycolysis, 2 from the Krebs cycle, and about 34 from the electron transport system).

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However, this maximum yield is never quite reached because of losses due to leaky membranes as well as the cost of moving pyruvate and ADP into the mitochondrial matrix, and currt estimates range around 29 to 30 ATP per glucose.

Cellular Respiration - Exploring The Function Of Oxygen In The Cellular Respiration Equation


Aerobic metabolism is up to 15 times more efficit than anaerobic metabolism (which yields 2 molecules ATP per 1 molecule glucose). However, some anaerobic organisms, such as methanogs are able to continue with anaerobic respiration, yielding more ATP by using inorganic molecules other than oxyg as final electron acceptors in the electron transport chain. They share the initial pathway of glycolysis but aerobic metabolism continues with the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. The post-glycolytic reactions take place in the mitochondria in eukaryotic cells, and in the cytoplasm in prokaryotic cells.

Although plants are net consumers of carbon dioxide and producers of oxyg via photosynthesis, plant respiration accounts for about half of the CO

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And makes 2 ATP, NADH, and FADH. From there the NADH and FADH go into the NADH reductase, which produces the zyme. The NADH pulls the zyme’s electrons to

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