Oxidative Phosphorylation

∞ generated and posted on 2016.01.26 ∞

Donation of inorganic phosphate (Pi) from ADP to form ATP as powered by cellular respiration and involving a reverse-turning ATP synthase enzyme.

The oxidation in modern usage refers to the oxidation of chemicals using an electron transport chain to pump protons rather than because molecular oxygen can serve as a final electron acceptor in that process.

Confusingly, fermentation, which also involves oxidation of nutrients to generate ATP, is not described as a process of oxidative phosphorylation but instead involves what is described as substrate-level phosphorylation. Thus, definitively, what oxidative phosphorylation is not is substrate-level phosphorylation, though (and again confusingly) oxidative phosphorylation can be built upon a number of processes that do involve substrate-level phosphorylation such as glycolysis and the Krebs cycle.

The following video demonstrates the conversion of energy associated with electrons, as found in electron carrier molecules, into ATP: