How Different Toxins Affect Cellular Respiration Oligomycin : This toxin is an antibiotic, however, when it binds to ATP synthase it blocks the proton channel. This, in turn, restrains oxidative phosphorylation, but it doesn’t block electron transport directly. Though it does block state III respiration or ADP-stimulated respiration, but this even takes some time. 2,4-Dinitrophenol : Also known as DNP, this compound binds to a proton before it goes through the membrane, then goes through with it, where it loses the proton. This can happen on either side, but most likely occurs on the side that has more protons. This process keeps the cell from holding an adequate amount of protons available for use. For this, DNP is known as an “uncoupling agent”. The presence of this compound eventually limits electron transport as well. Malonate : This molecule is known as an “electron transport inhibitor”, but it truly inhibits enzymes. It binds to the active site of the succinate dehydrogenase
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