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Bio Lab - Mitochondria1

Bio Lab - Mitochondria1 - Introduction Every cell requires...

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Introduction: Every cell requires a good deal of energy in order to function. This energy is supplied in a chemical form by adenosine triphosphate or ATP which releases the energy when its high energy bonds are broken. While the cell possesses the ability to produce a small amount of the energy it needs from the direct breakdown of glucose, a process called glycolysis, it can not hope to run on the amount of ATP it makes. The cell solves this problem by having an organelle that produces ATP on a large scale by assembling it from the precursor adenosine triphosphate and another phosphate group. This organelle, called a mitochondrion, releases the energy obtained from food gradually, transferring the energy to the chemical bonds in ATP rather than releasing it all at once as heat. Resulting pyruvate, present in the cell as a byproduct of the glycolysis cycle, is first combined in a process using amino and fatty acids to create acetyl-CoA. This compound is then run through a transformative cycle, called the citric acid cycle, which results in the release of several H + molecules. The mitochondrion then moves these ions across its plasma membrane, using the different concentration gradients to transfer the energy in this proton motive force to the chemical bonds of ATP, called oxidative phosphorylation, through a system called the electron transport chain. The culmination of these processes is called aerobic cell respiration, wherein sugars and fatty acids are broken down into carbon dioxide and water, storing the energy released in chemical bonds ready to be used by the cell. In this experiment, we are analyzing the function of succinate dehydrogenase, a coenzyme involved in cell respiration, which transfers FADH 2 and electrons to a substance called ubiquinone. We will replace ubiquinone with a dye called DCIP which will accept the electrons from FADH 2 and turn color from blue to colorless as a result. Sodium azide will be added to the process in order to assure that the final transfer of electrons will be to DCIP instead of to ubiquinone.
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