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What is the role of mitochondria in energy production and transfer?

Mitochondria play a crucial role in energy production and transfer in eukaryotic cells.

Mitochondria are organelles found in eukaryotic cells that are responsible for producing ATP, the main source of energy for cellular processes. They are often referred to as the "powerhouses" of the cell due to their ability to generate energy through a process called cellular respiration.

Cellular respiration occurs in the mitochondria and involves the breakdown of glucose molecules to produce ATP. This process involves a series of complex biochemical reactions that occur in three stages: glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation.

During glycolysis, glucose is broken down into pyruvate, which then enters the mitochondria to undergo the citric acid cycle. This cycle produces NADH and FADH2, which are then used in oxidative phosphorylation to produce ATP.

Oxidative phosphorylation involves the transfer of electrons from NADH and FADH2 to a series of electron carriers, which ultimately leads to the production of ATP. This process occurs in the inner membrane of the mitochondria and is facilitated by a series of protein complexes.

In addition to producing ATP, mitochondria also play a role in regulating cellular metabolism and apoptosis (programmed cell death). They are also involved in the synthesis of certain amino acids and lipids.

Overall, the role of mitochondria in energy production and transfer is essential for the survival and function of eukaryotic cells.

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