Unformatted text preview: mitochondria. A gradient is formed when large numbers of protons (hydrogen ions) are pumped into membrane-bound compartments. The protons build up dramatically within the compartment, finally reaching an enormous number. The energy used to pump the protons is energy released from the electrons during the electron transport system. After large numbers of protons have gathered at one side of the membrane, they suddenly reverse their directions and move back across the membranes. The protons release their energy in this motion, and the energy is used by enzymes to unite ADP with phosphate ions to form ATP. The energy is trapped in the high-energy bond of ATP by this process, and the ATP molecules are made available to perform cell work....
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- Fall '07
- Enzymes, ATP MOLECULES, phosphate ions, steep proton gradient