Glycolysis is the main pathway for the utilization of glucose and in the cytosol of all cells. This pathway is a unique pathway, because it can use oxygen through a chain of respiration in mitochondria (aerobe) or it can also work when there is absolutely no oxygen (anaerobe).
What is glycolysis? Here is an explanation about the definition, process steps, and the role of glycolysis..
What Is Glycolysis?
Glycolysis is the process of converting glucose into two molecules of pyruvate acid by producing ATP and NADH. Glycolysis occurs in cells of microorganisms, plants, and animals through 10 stages of reaction. This process occurs in the cytoplasm with the help of 10 different enzyme types.
NADH (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Hydrogen) is a coenzyme binding electron (H), so it is called the source of high-energy electrons.
ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is a high-energy compound. Each release of the Phospfant group generates energy. In the process of glycolysis, every 1 glucose molecule is converted into 2 molecules of pyruvate acid, 2 NADH, and 2 ATP.
What Is Glycolysis Process?
To better know what is glycolysis, we have also prepared the process of glycolysis, here is the process sequence along with the explanation.
- In the process of glycolysis the first phase is to convert glucose into 6 – phosphate glucose by the enzyme hexokinase. At this stage, the energy of ATP or adenosine triphosphate is indispensable and the ATP that has released energy will also be stored and then converted into ADP.
- The next stage is fructose 6 – phosphate will be formed from glucose 6 – phosphate and this process itself will be catalyzed or performed enzyme phosphohexose isomerase.
- The third stage of the process of glycolysis is the enzyme Phosphofructokinase which converts the fructose 6 – phosphate as a fructose 1.6 – biphosphate by conducting a catalyzed reaction process. To perform this process it takes energy from ATP.
- In the fourth phase, then the fructose 1.6 – biphosphate or 6 atoms C will be broken down to be used as glyceraldehyde 3 – phosphate or 3 C atoms and finally it will be hydrated by acetone phosphate or 3 atoms C. Aldolase enzymes that work to perform catalyzed processes in this phase.
- In the fifth phase, one molecule will hydrolyze acetone phosphate which will be formed and then converted to glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, this process is performed by the enzyme triose phosphate isomerase. This enzyme works by converting the Glyceraldehyde 3 – phosphate to dihydroxy into acetone phosphate, this is what makes this enzyme said to work many times.
- Glyceraldehyde 3 – Phosphates will later be changed to 1.3 – Bisphosphoglyceric and performed by 3-phosphate dehydrogenase enzymes that will form NADH in this phase.
- Furthermore, 1.3 bisphosphoglycerate will be transformed into 3-phosphoglycerate carried out by the enzyme phosphoglycerate kinase and the energy in the form of ATP will be released by the reaction that occurs in this phase.
- In the next Phase 3 – Phospholiglycerin will be transformed into 2 – phospholiglycerate which are performed by Phospholiglyceric Mutase.
- In the end 2 – Phospholiglifibers will be altered to become phosphoenol pyruvate, which is carried out by the enzyme enolase.
- In the last phase is Fosfoenolpiruvat will be transformed into pyruvate which is catalyzed by the enzyme pyruvate kinase and in this phase will produce an energy in the form of ATP.
In this phase that should be properly observed is in step 6 and 10th, because in this step will occur twice because two glyceraldehyde 3 – phosphate will be formed and derived from the breakdown of fructose 1.6 – biphosphate. Thus, these two 3-phosphate glyceraldehyde molecules will each try to undergo step 6 to the end of step 10.
The chemical equations that can represent glycolysis are:
C6H12O6 + 2ADP + 2Pi+ 2NAD+ → 2C3H4O3 + 2ATP + 2NADH + 2H+
The role of glycolysis
Glycolysis is a very important process in the field of biochemistry. On the one hand, this is crucial to evolution, as it is a basic reaction to an increasingly complex life and for mobile life support. On the other hand, their research reveals details about the various existing metabolic pathways and about other aspects of our cell life.
For example, the latest research at universities in Spain and Salamanca University Hospital detects the connection between the viability of neurons in the brain and the increase in glycolysis that targets neurons. This can be key in understanding diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease.
Glucose is produced by autotrophic organisms and transferred to heterotrophs through the food chain. However, in order for this energy to be utilized by organisms, this molecule needs to be degraded via glycolysis, which is a common metabolic pathway for all living beings, where partial decomposition of these molecules occur in the presence or absence of oxygen.
When the glucose molecule is degraded, the released energy is stored in the ATP phosphate bonds.
In organisms that perform cellular respiration, after glycolysis, a new stage occurs up to total glucose degradation and there is a greater energy use, with the production of 32 molecules of ATP.
In organisms that perform anaerobic processes, such as fermentation, glycolysis is the only process of glucose degradation, with less energy usage, only two ATP. In addition to ATP production, glycolysis is also responsible for the production of precursor compounds such as fatty acids in the liver.
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