Mitochondrial proton pump. Animation showing the direction of the proton movement in a mitochondria, the organelle responsible for energy production in cells. This is done by pumping protons through the enzyme ATP synthase (green), which stores energy in the form of molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Protons (white) are pumped from the matrix to the intermembrane space, creating a powerful electrochemical proton gradient across the membrane. During the generation of ATP, protons flow in the reverse direction, down the electrochemical gradient, through the synthase complex. Also shown are adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and inorganic phosphate (Pi), which are used to form ATP. For this animation without the label at lower right, see K004/2049.
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