Roskoski, Robert, Jr. Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, Horse Shoe, North Carolina.
Last reviewed:February 2019
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- Biological oxidation-reduction reactions
- Direct transfer of an electron
- Electrons transferred with protons
- Transfer of a hydride ion
- Electron transfer via direct reaction with oxygen
- Oxidative phosphorylation
- Mitochondrial electron transport
- Proton translocation in oxidative and photosynthetic phosphorylation
- Reactive oxygen species
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A biochemical reaction involving the transfer of a negatively charged electron from one organic compound to another organic compound or to oxygen. Biological oxidation is an energy-producing reaction in living cells, and it is coupled with a reduction reaction (Fig. 1). When a compound loses an electron, or is oxidized, another compound gains the electron, or is reduced. Oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions represent the main source of biological energy. Oxidation and reduction reactions occur simultaneously, and one does not occur without the other. The principal sources of reductants for animals are the numerous breakdown products of the major foodstuffs—carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Energy release from these substances occurs in a stepwise series of hydrogen and electron transfers to molecular oxygen. See also: Electron; Electron-transfer reaction; Oxidation-reduction; Oxygen
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