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Molecular Mechanism of Energy Coupling in Mitochondria and the Unity of Bioenergetics

  • David E. Green
  • George A. Blondin

Abstract

The mitochondrion is a cellular organelle specialized for coupling the oxidation of citric cycle intermediates, fatty acids, certain amino acids, etc., to the synthesis of ATP. The nature and molecular basis of this coupling have intrigued and baffled three generations of investigators. There have to be four steps in arriving at a solution to the coupling problem. First, the source of the energy has to be specified and defined. In this case, the energy is chemical and is released by oxidation. The second is the recognition of the principle by which the free energy released during mitochondrial oxidation can be conserved and utilized (the principle of energy coupling). The third is the development of a model that specifies how the mitochondrion translates the principle of energy coupling. The model we are proposing for this translation is the paired moving charge model of energy coupling.(1) Finally, if the principle and the model are valid and relevant, these should lead step by step to the solution of all the phenomena of mitochondrial energy coupling. This complete rationalization is the only infallible test of such validity. The structural, functional, and control aspects of the mitochondrion must be consistent with and illuminated by the principle and the model. If such is not the case, the principle and the model cannot be correct. When the rationalization is across the board, the possibility that the principle and the model are invalid becomes vanishingly small.

Keywords

Enzymic Catalysis Energy Coupling Ribbon Structure Electron Transfer Complex Beef Heart Mitochondrion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • David E. Green
    • 1
  • George A. Blondin
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Enzyme ResearchUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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