What causes the Hydrogen protons to be pumped across the membrane cell resp.

Jan 4, 2013
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Pre-Dental
It's been a while...I should really know this but I don't remember.

What causes the hydrogen protons to move across the membrane (against their gradient) in the electron transport chain? Is it just the brief charge interaction with the moving electrons down the chain? If yes, and maybe this is too detailed, but why move all the way across the membrane and not just get close to the membrane and move back away?

Thanks!
 

Ferneezy

I don't always Go Blue, but when I do...
5+ Year Member
Jun 19, 2009
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think less in terms of what causes, and more in terms of what allows them to move against the gradient.

as the electrons are passed along the ETC they move to progressively lower energy states. the incremental energy they lose is used to power the active transport of protons.
 
May 17, 2008
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The electron carriers extract energy from NADH and FADH2 (specifically its electrons) while pumping protons into the intermembrane space – Complex I, III, and IV specifically. The pumping of the H+ against its gradient is coupled with the energy that comes from passing the electrons down the Electron Transport Chain via the redox reactions.
 
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