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Mitochondrial respiration is the set of metabolic reactions and processes requiring oxygen that takes place in mitochondria to convert the energy stored in macronutrients to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the universal energy donor in the cell.
Approximately half a century ago, mitochondria, cellular organelles bounded by a highly folded inner and fairly smooth outer membrane were recognized as the cellular “power plants” providing the energy required for metabolism. The mechanism that underlies the energy-generating capacity of mitochondria was described by Mitchell in 1961 and awarded with the 1978 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Mitchell’s chemiosmotic theory describes how the oxidation of nutritional substrates is coupled to the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the compound in which cellular energy is conserved. In mitochondria, the macronutrient-derived reducing equivalents NADH and FADH 2...
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