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Investigate the structure and properties of the hydrogen carriers NAD and FAD. Produce a report on your findings, playing particular attention to the importance of these hydrogen carriers in the reduction and oxidation reactions of cellular respiration.

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Introduction

Biochemistry Assignment 7 Task 2) - Investigate the structure and properties of the hydrogen carriers NAD and FAD. Produce a report on your findings, playing particular attention to the importance of these hydrogen carriers in the reduction and oxidation reactions of cellular respiration. NAD and FAD are hydrogen carriers that are present in the cell, when they pick up Hydrogen they change their structure and are shown as NADH2 or FADH2, respectively. They collect the electrons from the electron donors in glycolysis, pyruvate oxidation and the krebs cycle then transport them to the electron transport chain. They are known collectively as reduced co-enzymes once they have gained the electrons from the hydrogen, but before they pick-up the hydrogen they are known as co-enzymes. ...read more.

Middle

Oxidation is loss of electrons, so therefore hydrogen has a positive charge and oxygen had a negative charge. Reduction reactions involve the gaining of electrons, this can be done through the addition of hydrogen or the removal of oxygen, the opposite of oxidation. When NAD and FAD pick up hydrogen they are reduced, NAD gaining 2 electrons and a Proton, and FAD gaining 2 protons and 2 electrons. As they gain electrons they also gain; this means that when they move down the electron transport chain in respiration, the extra electrons go on to form ATP in the following way. The proteins in the electron transport chain accept an electron (reduction is gain) and so becomes reduced, and then lose it again (oxidation is loss), and become oxidised, energy from the electron is lost at each transfer powering active transport of hydrogen ions across the inner mitochondrial membrane. ...read more.

Conclusion

So in summary the structure of NAD is slightly less complicated than FAD, but they are both co-enzymes, which bond loosely with a dehydrogenase enzyme, to remove the hydrogen from other substances and bond to the co-enzyme in a reduction reaction. The structure of the NAD and FAD change slightly as they are reduced this happens when they collect Hydrogen which is produced in respiration, and then when the hydrogen is released into the electron transfer chain the NAD or FAD becomes oxidised. The process of reducing and oxidising these co-enzymes produce a specific amount of energy, which in turn goes on to produce energy in the form of ATP. These co-enzymes are very important molecules within organisms because without them, a lack of energy would be processed, this is why it is important to keep up the vitamin intakes as NAD is synthesised from B3 - nicotinic acid, and FAD is synthesised from B2 - riboflavin. ...read more.

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