Energy and Metabolism

ID #1091

Where was it that NADH happens to produce only 2 ATP's instead of 3 like it normally does?

The NADH produced during glycolysis is out in the cytoplasm, where glycolysis happens. But for NADH, the "front door" of the ETC is in the matrix of the mitochondria. For NADH to get from the cytoplasm to the matrix, it has to cross the inner mitochondrial membrane, and since it can't just slip through, it has to be carried. But there's a price to pay for that transport, which is roughly equivalent to a molecule of ATP, so you subtract one from its total to account for the transport cost.

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