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Active Transport | Transport in Cells | Biology

#Transport #ActiveTransport #CellMembrane #CellMembraneTransport #CellBiology #CellularBiology

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In cellular biology, active transport is the movement of molecules across a cell membrane from a region of lower concentration to a region of higher concentration—against the concentration gradient. Active transport requires cellular energy to achieve this movement. There are two types of active transport: primary active transport that uses adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and secondary active transport that uses an electrochemical gradient.

Primary active transport, also called direct active transport, directly uses metabolic energy to transport molecules across a membrane. Substances that are transported across the cell membrane by primary active transport include metal ions, such as Na+, K+, Mg2+, and Ca2+. These charged particles require ion pumps or ion channels to cross membranes and distribute through the body.

Most of the enzymes that perform this type of transport are transmembrane ATPases. A primary ATPase universal to all animal life is the sodium-potassium pump, which helps to maintain the cell potential. The sodium-potassium pump maintains the membrane potential by moving three Na+ ions out of the cell for every two K+ ions moved into the cell. Other sources of energy for primary active transport are redox energy and photon energy (light). An example of primary active transport using redox energy is the mitochondrial electron transport chain that uses the reduction energy of NADH to move protons across the inner mitochondrial membrane against their concentration gradient. An example of primary active transport using light energy are the proteins involved in photosynthesis that use the energy of photons to create a proton gradient across the thylakoid membrane and also to create reduction power in the form of NADPH.

In secondary active transport, also known as coupled transport or cotransport, energy is used to transport molecules across a membrane; however, in contrast to primary active transport, there is no direct coupling of ATP. Instead, it relies upon the electrochemical potential difference created by pumping ions in/out of the cell. Permitting one ion or molecule to move down an electrochemical gradient, but possibly against the concentration gradient where it is more concentrated to that where it is less concentrated, increases entropy and can serve as a source of energy for metabolism (e.g. in ATP synthase). The energy derived from the pumping of protons across a cell membrane is frequently used as the energy source in secondary active transport. In humans, sodium (Na+) is a commonly cotransported ion across the plasma membrane, whose electrochemical gradient is then used to power the active transport of a second ion or molecule against its gradient. In bacteria and small yeast cells, a commonly cotransported ion is hydrogen. Hydrogen pumps are also used to create an electrochemical gradient to carry out processes within cells such as in the electron transport chain, an important function of cellular respiration that happens in the mitochondrion of the cell.


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35 thoughts on “Active Transport | Transport in Cells | Biology
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