Cellular respiration is a number of reactions and processes that lead to the generation of energy in the form of ATP that cells can use. Cellular respiration consists of the following processes: glycolysis, citric acid cycle, electron transport chain, and oxidative phosphorylation. In glycolysis, glucose (a six carbon sugar) is broken down to two pyruvate molecules via a series of ten enzymatically catalyzed steps. Glycolysis of one glucose molecule creates 2 pyruvate molecules as well as 2NADH molecules and 2 ATPs. The pyruvate molecules are further broken down in the citric acid cycle, which produces 1 GTP3, 3 NADH, and 1 FADH2 for one pyruvate. NADH and FADH2 produced in both cycles enter electron transport chain where electrons from these molecules are transferred to electron acceptors via redox reaction. These reactions are coupled with the transfer of protons across the membrane, therefore creating a proton gradient ( A higher concentration of protons outside the inner membrane of the mitochondria than inside the membrane). The protons outside the inner membrane return to the inside via a process called oxidative phosphorylation. In this process ATP is synthesized. This process is thus the major source of ATP creation in aerobic organisms.
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