View Single Post
Apr1-11, 02:51 PM
P: 293
Mitochondria - How it functions

Thanks for the great info there. I apologise for not replying sooner.

So if i understand this correctly:
We have a set amount of ATP in our body ~0.1mol.
ATP is converted to ADP which releases energy which the cell then uses to do other useful tasks.
Our body ses 100mol of ATP per day.
The mitochondria are constantly converting the ADP waste product back into usable ATP to keep up with the body's demand.
The primary factor that determins the ability of the mitochondia to convert ADP to ATP is its access to H+ ions.
The H+ ions move across the electric potenial drop (approx 200mV) and this electrical energy is whats used add an extra phospate and convert the ADP to the ATP.

Cells monitor the ration between ATP and AMP and use this to regulate the production and consumption of ATP.

If the ratio of ATP:ADP gets low, cells fatigue and eventually die.

what happens if the ratio gets excessively large? say 10x normal. any ill effects?
Does the ATP simply start breaking down into ADP on its own (if so what happens to the excess energy?)
Or the cell simply slows down the production of ATP till the excess is used?
Or is this possibility so extremly unlikely to happen because of the already vast difference in concentration of ATP & ADP that there'll never be enough ADP present in the mitochondria to allow this to happen therefore not worth discussing?

Also, what generally supplies the H+ ions?