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DNP Mechanism of Action
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DNP Mechanism of Action - 02-13-2013, 03:37 PM

posted by: andrew.peplin

Alright above is a picture of cell respiration, this is really just the overview to give you an idea of the entire process. I am going to explain DNP's mechanism of action at the cellular level and DNP inhibits the cells ability to fully complete cellular respiration. This all occurs within the mitochondria

Alright this is the best picture I could find without drawing one myself. It is missing the first step of cellular respiration, glycolysis, which is the breakdown of glucose into two three carbon molecules pyruvate; pyruvate is the very top of the chart and where we start. Alright after glycolysis pyruvate is oxidized and one of the carbons is cleaved forming acetyl CoA, all sources of energy break down into acetyl CoA if you are wondering what happens if we don't use glucose. Then Oxaloacetic Acid and Acetyl CoA start the citric acid cycle. The primary purpose of the citric acid cycle is to convert NAD+ into NADH by taking a proton and 2 Electrons from what was originally glucose. NADH serves as the carrier of these electrons and proton, bringing them to The next step of this process, the Electron Transport Chain.

Alright this is the process that DNP directly interferes with. During the electron transport chain NADH gives up its proton and 2 electrons as you can see in the diagram above. These electrons provide the power for the proton to be pumped through the membrane of the matrix into the outer shell. The protons are then carried over through each proton pump and reduced in energy through a couple processes that are kinda off topic. Once 4 electrons reach the furthest most proton pump they are dispelled and produce water. During all of this pumping of protons, an imbalance is created and the outer shell has a higher concentration of protons. This creates a proton energy gradient and causes the outer shell to be more acidic than the matrix. This imbalance causes the cell to diffuse and return to a balanced state. Although the only way the protons can do is by pumping through ATP synthase and producing ATP, ATP synthase works like a pump powered by the protons.

Now what makes DNP so interesting is the fact that it allows the protons to slip back through the membrane without being pumped through ATP synthase. This makes for a very inefficient process of producing ATP and causes the cell to digest more glucose and repeat this entire process multiple time in order to produce a sufficient amount of ATP, the same amount that without DNP probably could have been produced in a single cycle. Alright there you go, that is exactly how DNP works on the cellular level!

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