Extensively revised, the fourth edition of this highly successful book takes into account the many newly determined protein structures that provide molecular insight into chemiosmotic energy transduction, as well as reviewing the explosive advances in 'mitochondrial physiology'-the role of the mitochondria in the life and death of the cell.

Covering mitochondria, bacteria and chloroplasts, the fourth edition of Bioenergetics provides a clear and comprehensive account of the chemiosmotic theory and its many applications. The figures have been carefully designed to be memorable and to convey the key functional and mechanistic information. Written for students and researchers alike, Bioenergetics is the most well-known, current and respected text on chemiosmotic theory and membrane bioenergetics available.

Key Features

  • BMA Medical Book Awards 2014-Highly Commended, Basic and Clinical Sciences,2014,British Medical Association
  • Chapters are now divided between three interlocking sections: basic principles, structures and mechanisms, and mitochondrial physiology.
  • Covers new advances in the structure and mechanism of key bioenergetic proteins, including complex I of the respiratory chain and transport proteins.
  • Details cellular bioenergetics, mitochondrial cell biology and signal transduction, and the roles of mitochondria in physiology, disease and aging.
  • Offers readers clear, visual representation of structural concepts through full colour figures throughout the book.


Undergraduates, graduates, postgraduates, and researchers working in biochemistry and the biological sciences.

Table of Contents



Introduction to Part 1

Introduction to Part 1

1. Chemiosmotic Energy Transduction

1.1 The Chemiosmotic Theory: Fundamentals

1.2 The Basic Morphology of Energy-Transducing Membranes

1.3 A Brief History of Chemiosmotic Concepts

2. Ion Transport Across Energy-Conserving Membranes

2.1 Introduction

2.2 The Classification of Ion Transport

2.3 Bilayer-Mediated Transport

2.4 Protein-Catalysed Transport

2.5 Swelling and the Coordinate Movement of Ions across Membranes

3. Quantitative Bioenergetics: The Measurement of Driving Forces

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Gibbs Energy and Displacement from Equilibrium

3.3 Redox Potentials

3.4 Ion Electrochemical Potential Differences

3.5 Photons

3.6 Bioenergetic Interconversions and Thermodynamic Constraints on their Stoichiometries

3.7 The Equilibrium Distributions of Ions, Weak Acids and Weak Bases

3.8 Membrane Potentials, Diffusion Potentials, Donnan Potentials and Surface Potentials

4. The Chemiosmotic Proton Circuit in Isolated Organelles: Theory and Practice

4.1 Introduction

4.2 The Proton Circuit

4.3 Proton Current

4.4 Voltage: The Measurement of Protonmotive Force Components in Isolated Organelles

4.5 Proton Conductance

4.6 ATP Synthase Reversal

4.7 Reversed Electron Transport

4.8 Mitochondrial Respiration Rate and Metabolic Control Analysis

4.9 Kinetic and Thermodynamic Competence of Δp in the Proton Circuit

Introduction to Part 2

Introduction to Part 2

5. Respiratory Chains

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Components of the Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain

5.3 The Sequence of Redox Carriers in the Respiratory Chain

5.4 Mechanisms of Electron Transfer

5.5 Proton Translocation by the Respiratory Chain: Loop


No. of pages:
© 2013
Academic Press
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the author

David Nicholls

Affiliations and Expertise

Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato, CA, USA


BMA Medical Book Awards 2014 - Highly Commended, Basic and Clinical Sciences, British Medical Association


"Nicholls…and Ferguson… present this text on cellular energy flow, focusing on electrochemical physiology of mitochondria, chloroplasts, and bacteria…The book is technical, focused, and gives a highly detailed account of intracellular thermodynamics.", February 2014
"Nicholls and Ferguson present this text on cellular energy flow, focusing on electrochemical physiology of mitochondria, chloroplasts, and bacteria…The book is technical, focused, and gives a highly detailed account of intracellular thermodynamics."--Reference & Research Book News, December 2013
"Not only is Bioenergetics 3 comprehensive, but the material is presented in a reassuringly accessible form. ...this text is supremely successful."--THE BIOCHEMIST (December 2003)
"Bioenergetics 3 is a worthy successor to the second edition, and one that I can enthusiastically recommend."--Aubrey D.N.J. de Grey University of Cambridge for MITOCHONDRION (2002)