Copyright

Mitochondrial Inner Membrane: Definition & Overview

Mitochondrial Inner Membrane: Definition & Overview
Coming up next: Mitochondrial Matrix: Definition & Function

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 Definition
  • 1:13 Processes
  • 1:29 The Electron Transport Chain
  • 2:44 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Nicholas Gauthier
The inner membrane of the mitochondrion is involved in the final step in aerobic respiration. Discover the intricacies of this membrane and how it is the key to unlocking the full energy potential of food.

Definition

The mitochondria is known as the powerhouse of the cell and exists in all eukaryotic cells, able to extract a significant amount of energy from each glucose molecule. The mitochondrion has an outer membrane and an inner membrane. The mitochondrial inner membrane is the site of the electron transport chain, an important step in aerobic respiration. Between the inner membrane and outer membrane is the inter-membrane space. There, H+ ions build up to create a proton potential that helps power the ATP energy formation. ATP is the energy currency of the cell. It is a relatively simple molecule that cells use to power their life processes. It is created with the help of ATP synthase, an enzyme embedded in the inner mitochondrial membrane.

The mitochondrial inner membrane is made primarily of a phospholipid bilayer, just like the cell membrane. Embedded in this bilayer are various proteins that serve to carry out the electron transport chain. The membrane has folds called christae that increase its surface area.

Processes

The citric acid cycle takes the products of glycolysis, an anaerobic process, and creates several NADH and FADH2 molecules. These molecules then enter the the electron transport chain, where they contribute their energy to the creation of ATP.

The Electron Transport Chain

The products of the citric acid cycle are sent to the electron transport chain. These products are NADH and FADH2. They contribute electrons to the electron transport chain, where they create a negative current along the inner membrane. This negative current attracts H+ ions across the inner membrane. Recall that H+ ions are simply protons all by themselves.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support