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Respiration Handout

Respiration Handout - Key points and terms to know about...

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Key points and terms to know about Glycolysis and Cellular Respiration! Do not memorize all of the metabolic intermediates and their chemical structures!! But do know the facts and concepts outlined here. Remember change in Free Energy ( G)? The overall equation for the catabolism of glucose is: C 6 H 12 O 6 + 60 2 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O ; G = -686 kcal 2878 kcal 3564 kcal (consumed) (released) -686 kcal = a lot of free energy released (lost) – but some is stored (in ATP)! Cells have found a way to oxidize (see below) molecules and harvest the free energy loss by storing some of that energy in the form of ATP = Major cellular currency! (Note that these same basic metabolic processes break down and extract energy from other biomacromolecules, like proteins and lipids!) -------------- The key to Cellular Metabolism is the Oxidation-Reduction Reaction (Redox) Oxidation : loss of electrons Reduction : gain of electrons In redox, electrons move to lower potential energy states, and energy is released (since energy must be conserved—the first law of thermodynamics!). In a polysaccharide, for example, many of carbon’s electrons are at a high potential energy state, since they are shared in nonpolar covalent bonds between two atoms with similar electronegativity (H and C). This means that the carbon’s electrons are not held very close to either atom, and is also why gasoline, a hydrocarbon, is such a great fuel— there is a lot of energy stored in its many C-H bonds. If the polysaccharide (or hydrocarbon, etc.) undergoes a chemical reaction and the C ends up bonded to O, which is much more electronegative, a polar covalent bond is formed, and the carbon’s electrons are drawn very close to the oxygen. Electrons near a very electronegative atom are at a lower potential energy state than electrons near less electronegative atoms, so a lot of energy is released in this reaction.
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