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The Electron transport chain

Discussion in 'MCAT Study Question Q&A' started by Calheesh, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Calheesh

    Calheesh Boss.
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    How many electron tranport chains are there per mitochondrion in the inner membrane? Is it just 1 per? I tried to find an answer online but couldn't.
     
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  3. Charles_Carmichael

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    No, the inner mitochondrial membrane has many copies of the proteins involved in the electron transport chain and ATP synthesis. If there were only one per mitochondrion, not enough energy would be generated.

    I don't think you'd find a definitive value for what you're looking for and I doubt you would ever be tested on knowing how many copies of a certain protein exist in typical cell/compartment/etc.
     
  4. Calheesh

    Calheesh Boss.
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    Yeah I thought it would be more than one. But then yet again they always say Chain and not "Chains." Plus we have thousands of mitochondrion per cell so I thought maybe there would be enough energy if there were just 1. It seems way more reasonable that there would be more but I just wanted to be sure.
     
  5. Terpskins99

    Terpskins99 Fear... The Stig
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    The term "chain" is used primarily to conceptualize the process of oxidative phosphorylation. As I understand it, the various complexes (of which there are probably thousands of each type) of the ETC are freely floating along the inner mitochondrial membrane and are able to communicate (pass electrons) to one another via various coenzymes.

    Its just easier to picture them all being lined up.
     
  6. isaacmn

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    I dont think the MCAT cares about how many ETC we have. The mechanism and the organelle involved in this process is what is essential.

    -where it occurs..inner mitocondria membrane
    Oxidative phophorylation process, proton gradient . e.t.c.

    Lets get right to what it is required for the MCAT, not what we have to learn in medical school.
     
  7. engineeredout

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    Its like the kidney, you gotta know the basics of the nephron for the mcat, but the actual kidney itself has a million of them.
     

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