Glycolysis (Part 1)

Glycolysis (Part 1)

The word glycolysis means “splitting of sugar”

A molecule of glucose is degraded in a series of enzyme-catalyzed reactions to yield two molecules of the three-carbon compound pyruvate (Oxidation of glucose to pyruvate).

Site of occurrence: Cytosol

Other name: Embden–Meyerhof–Parnas (EMP pathway)

  • Glycolysis is unique that it can function either aerobically or anaerobically depending on the availability of oxygen and electron transport chain.
  • Glycolysis is a universal pathway used by nearly all of the organisms on earth as a part of their metabolism.
  • The wide occurrence of glycolysis indicates that it is an ancient metabolic pathway. It was probably one of the earliest metabolic pathways to evolve.
  • Glycolysis is the first pathway used in the breakdown of glucose to extract energy for cellular metabolism.
  • Erythrocytes and cells which lack mitochondria are completely reliant on glucose as their metabolic fuel and metabolize it by anaerobic glycolysis.

The glycolytic pathway can be separated into two phases:

  1. The Preparatory/Investment Phase – wherein ATP is consumed (Step 1 to step 5))
  2. The Pay Off Phase – wherein ATP is produced (step 6 to step 10)

The breakdown of the six-carbon glucose into two molecules of the three-carbon pyruvate occurs in ten steps.

Overall reactions of glycolytic pathway

Refer the following link for detailed explanation on each step of the glycolytic pathway.


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