NADH and FADH2 electron transport chain lesson props

The Basics of the Electron Transport Chain - P2
PAGE 2                                                     <  Back to Page 1
BACK TO Electron Transport Chain - Page 1
How the ETC Works
Most of the ATP made in cellular respiration 
comes from the stepwise release of energy, of a series of oxidation-reduction reactions between molecules embedded in the plasma membrane 
(prokaryotes) or mitochondria 

​It is easiest to understand how electron transport works by dividing this process into three main events:

In the electron transport chain, these electron carriers are oxidized, transferring their electrons to the carrier molecules embedded in the ETC membrane. 

In aerobic respiration, these electrons are passed from one carrier molecule to another in a series of oxidation-reduction reactions, and ultimately to the final electron acceptor, oxygen (O2), that combines with hydrogen, resulting a water (H2O), a metabolic waste product.

More Electron Transport Chain Diagrams & Video
Go to Page 3 >
Page last updated: 2/2016
1. Oxidation Reduction Reactions
During glycolysis, synthesis of acetyl-CoA and Kreb’s cycle, the electron carriers NAD+ and FADH are reduced to form NADH and FADH2 respectively. These molecules are like little rechargeable batteries, and when NAD+ and FADH are reduced, this means that they accept and carry electrons and hydrogen ions (H+), potential energy that can be used later in cellular respiration.
NAD+ and FADH electron transport chain lesson props
NADH and FADH2 electron transport chain lesson props
+ electrons & hydrogen

Electron Transport Chain
2. Creation of Hydrogen Ion Gradient
The energy from each electron being passed down the chain is used to pump a proton (H+) through each carrier molecule, from one side of the membrane to the other. This creates a proton gradient, a type of concentration gradient (difference in concentration of a substance between two sides of a membrane), and gradients are potential energy available for cellular work.

Virtual Cell Biology

You have free access to a large collection of materials used in a college-level introductory Cell Biology Course. The Virtual Cell Biology Classroom provides a wide range of free educational resources including Power Point Lectures, Study Guides, Review Questions and Practice Test Questions.
Endomembrane System of a Eukaryotic Cell, Mariana Ruiz
Electron Transport Chain of Cellular Respiration
See the 
Electron Transport Chain Classroom Activity
for a fun, hands-on way to teach students the steps of the ETC!
This article has 
3 pages: 
1  . 2 .  3
Want To Learn More About Metabolism and the Electron Transport Chain?

Aerobic Respiration Lecture Main Page

Aerobic Respiration Practice Test Questions

Aerobic Respiration Review Questions