Inhibitors of the Electron Transport Chain

The Biochemistry Questions Site

 

Answer to Question B-09

 

As described in a former post, the inhibitors of the Electron Transport Chain are substances that bind to some of the components of the ETC blocking its ability to change in a reversible form from an oxidized state to a reduced state.

 

This inhibition results in the accumulation of reduced forms before the inhibitor point, and oxidized forms of the components of the ETC downstream (ahead) the inhibition point.

 

 

Since energy is not released, the synthesis of ATP also stops. The most important known inhibitors of the ETC are Amytal, Rotenone, Antimycin A, CO, Sodium Azide, and Cyanides.

 

Amytal, a barbiturate, and Rotenone, a plant product used as insecticide and pesticide, block the ETC between NADH dehydrogenase (Complex I) and CoQ.

 

Consequently, they prevent the utilization of NADH as a substrate. On the contrary, electron flow…

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