Reciprocal regulation of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis

Reciprocal regulation of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis

  • The processes of gluconeogenesis and glycolysis are regulated in a reciprocal fashion (oppositely regulated). That means that when one process is highly active, the other one is inhibited.
  • This is done to prevent the gluconeogenesis and glycolysis from running at the same time, which would waste energy.
  • When the energy charge is high, the cell does not need to produce any more ATP and so glycolysis is turned off via the allosteric inhibition of phosphofructokinase, hexokinase and pyruvate kinase by specific allosteric effectors. On the other hand, gluconeogenesis is stimulated by the allosteric activation of fructose 1, 6-bisphosphatase and pyruvate carboxylase.
  • When the energy charge of the cell drops, the cell begins producing more ATP via glycolysis and turns off gluconeogenesis to conserve the ATP molecules.

(The energy charge of the cell is the ratio of ATP to AMP molecules; the higher the energy charge is, the greater the number of ATP molecules within the cell is).

Figure 1: Reciprocal regulation og glycolysis and gluconeogenesis

Regulation of glycolysis:

Regulation of gluconeogenesis:


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