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Components of a typical mitochondrion
The mitochondrial matrix also contains the mitochondria's DNA and ribosomes. The word "matrix" stems from the fact that this space is viscous, compared to the relatively aqueous cytoplasm. The cytosolic compartment has a water content of 3.8 μl/mg protein, while the mitochondrial matrix 0.8 μl/mg protein. It is not known how mitochondria maintain osmotic balance across the inner mitochondrial membrane, although the membrane contains aquaporins that are believed to be conduits for regulated water transport. Mitochondrial matrix has a pH of about 7.8.
Electron transport chain
The electron transport chain is located in the cristae of the inner mitochondrial membrane. The NADH and FADH2 produced by the citric acid cycle in the matrix release a proton and electron to regenerate NAD+ and FAD. Protons are pulled into the intermembrane space by the energy of the electrons going through the electron transport chain. Two electrons are finally accepted by oxygen in the matrix to complete the electron transport chain. The protons return to the mitochondrial matrix through the process of chemiosmosis through the protein ATP synthase.
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