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(pl. cristae)

(1) Of mitochondria, folds in the internal membrane of the mitochondrion which gives the organelle its characteristic appearance. This is the site of the electron transport chain in oxidative metabolism. The cristae, therefore, serve as the physical link between the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation (ATP synthesis).

(2) More generally, a crest (its literal meaning in Latin) or ridge.

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