The native Glycolysis is obtained from the Greek indigenous "Glykos" meaning sweet (sugar) and "Lysis" which way to separation or splitting. Therefore, glycolysis (or the glycolytic pathway) might be described as the metabolic breakdown of glucose (a 6 carbon sugar) in bespeak to relax energy.

For various organisms, energy in the type of adenosine tree phosphate (ATP) is forced for biochemical reaction (e.g. Reactions affiliated in muscle contraction). Here, then, glucose, the main source of energy, has to be broken down through numerous subsequent procedures in order to relax this chemical energy.

In enhancement to adenosine triphosphate, this metabolic pathway additionally releases 2 molecules that NADH (nicotinamide adenin dinucleotide) and also pyruvate (a three-carbon molecule).

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* Glycolysis was found in 1897 through Hans Buchner and also Eduard Buchner, German scientists, together they sought come manufacture cell-free yeast extract.


Where does Glycolysis take it Place?

Glycolysis is the first phase of cellular respiration. It takes place in the cytoplasm where associated enzymes and also factors room located. This procedure is anaerobic and also therefore go not need energy. As such, it has actually been shown to be among the most ancient metabolic pathways that might occur even in the simplest cells (earliest prokaryotes cells).

Metabolic pathway the glycolysis switch glucose to pyruvate via a collection of intermediate metabolites by cutting board Shafee / CC BY-SA (

Glycolysis Pathway and Products

Glucose Transport right into the Cell

As mentioned, glucose is the main source of energy. However, given that this an easy sugar may not be readily available, the body has to malfunction large molecules (e.g. Polymeric carbohydrates like starch).

The malfunction of starch starts in the mouth wherein amylase is responsible because that the failure of starch into sugars. In the little intestine, this activity is carried out by carbohydrase enzyme that proceed acting ~ above the starch molecules. 

For glycolysis to start, glucose needs to be transported right into the cell (from the gut and into the epithelial cells) whereby the procedure occurs. One team of transporters connected in the carry of glucose in or the end of the cells is known as GLUTs (glucose transporters). These space proteins through substrate binding sites on i beg your pardon glucose molecules bind in bespeak to be transported.

Following this binding (to the sites exposed to the inside or outside the cell), the transporter experience conformational alters that ultimately an outcome in the molecule being transported with the lipid bilayer in or out of the cell. 

Phosphorylation I

Once the glucose has been efficiently transported into the cell, a phosphoryl group is included in the presence of hexokinase type II in different types of tissues in the body or glucokinase (also known as hexokinase IV) in the liver. This reaction is generally known together phosphorylation and also involves the addition to a phosphoryl group onto the 6th (6th) carbon of the street molecule.

As mentioned, the glucose transporters situated on the cell membrane are capable of transporting glucose in and also out the the cell. However, by including a Phosphoryl team onto this sugar molecule, it"s trapped and also cannot be transported the end of the cell. Therefore, this step serves to trap the street molecule in the cell. 


During the phosphorylation, ATP provides a phosphate i beg your pardon is added onto the 6th carbon of the sugar molecule. This counter the ATP molecule right into ADP. This reaction is helped with by one of two people of the two enzymes mentioned over depending ~ above the type of cells involved.

Addition of the phosphoryl group has likewise been presented to do the street molecule more reactive, much less stable as compared to the initial sugar molecule/glucose, and also thus all set for glycolysis.


Once a glucose molecule has actually been converted to glucose 6-phosphate through phosphorylation, it"s then converted into a fructose. This action is assisted in by the enzyme phosphohexose isomerase. Here, the enzyme an initial opens increase the glucose 6-phosphate ring so as to expose the aldehyde team which is the reactive component of the molecule.

The group is transformed into a ketose group at some point resulting in the development of fructose 6-phosphate. However, this molecule can be converted back to glucose 6-phosphate if need be. 

Phosphorylation II

The furustos molecule formed during the isomerization stage undergoes phosphorylation thus making the even more reactive. This is facilitated by the enzyme phosphofructokinase I.

It"s worth noting the in the fructose 6-phosphate molecule, the 6th (6th) carbon still has actually the phosphate that was included during the an initial phosphorylation step. In this step, then, the enzyme adds a phosphate group onto the very first carbon of the sugar molecule. 

This results in the formation of a molecule well-known as fructose 1, 6-biphosphate. Unequal a bi-phosphate where the phosphate teams are alongside each other in the molecule, a biphosphate molecule is composed of carbon atoms between the phosphate groups. Here, carbon molecules produce distance in between the phosphate groups. 


* As to be the instance with the first phosphorylation, the 2nd phosphorylation also requires an ATP molecule to provide a phosphate. The process has offered two ATP molecule so far. 

* Unlike furustos 6-phosphate, which have the right to be stored as glycogen, fructose 1, 6-biphosphate cannot be stored. At this stage, it"s said to have actually committed come glycolysis and also therefore cannot walk back. This additionally further destabilizes the molecule so that it can be easily damaged down in the following stage. 

A diagram of to move respiration including glycolysis, Krebs bike (AKA citric mountain cycle), and the electron carry chain by RegisFrey / CC BY-SA (

Splitting fructose 1.6-Biphosphate


This phase of glycolysis entails the failure of the molecule into two 3 carbon molecules. If the 2 molecules have 3 carbons each, they are not identical. Here, the furustos molecule, fructose 1, 6-biphosphate, is an initial opened up in order to expose the carbon link to be cleaved.

Therefore, it"s vital to open up the cyclic kind of the fructose molecule into the chain form. When it has actually been opened up up, the enzyme Aldolase then acts upon the carbon bond for this reason cleaving the molecule to create two 3 carbon molecules. 

One of the molecules is well-known as dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) which contains 3 carbons and also a phosphoryl group on one of the carbons. The various other 3 carbon molecule is known as glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (G3P) and likewise consists the 3 carbons and a phosphoryl group.

While glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate lies directly in the glycolytic pathway and also can proceed onto the following step, dihydroxyacetone phosphate very first has to be converted to glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate before it can proceed top top the next step the this phase of glycolysis. 


* In this stage, as currently mentioned, the furustos molecule (Fructose 1, 6-bisphosphatase) is cleaved to produce two 3 carbon molecules. The reality that the two molecules are various is really important provided that it enables for the suitable regulation of cabinet metabolism in general.

While glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate is directly associated in the production of ATP energy, dihydroxyacetone phosphate is not. This way that the conversion of dihydroxyacetone phosphate into glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate will largely depend top top the needs of the cell. 

In a scenario wherein there is already too much ATP in the cell, climate there is no reason for the continued production the ATP. Together a result, glycolysis go not must continue. The enzyme triose-phosphate isomerase can transform the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate right into dihydroxyacetone phosphate which have the right to then be transformed into triglycerides before being stored as fats.

However, in a scenario where much more ATP is forced (e.g. During running i beg your pardon requires more energy), then the equilibrium has actually to change to the right. This way that quite than converting glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate to dihydroxyacetone phosphate, the enzyme triose-phosphate isomerase has to convert dihydroxyacetone phosphate into glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate which deserve to then be supplied to produce ATP energy. 


* In the cell, the dihydroxyacetone phosphate is the primary molecule (about 96 percent in ~ equilibrium). This enables it to it is in the main resource of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate thus enabling the equilibrium to shift to the ideal as more ATP is required. 


* Dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (G3P) space isomers of every other. When they have actually the very same formula, the atoms are arranged in different way which in turn means that they have different properties. In the presence of the enzyme Triose-phosphate isomerase, they can be readily interconverted from one to the other. 

In order to convert the dihydroxyacetone phosphate (a ketone) right into glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (an aldose), the enzyme has to transfer the hydrogen situated on the first carbon of the dihydroxyacetone phosphate come the second carbon that the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. In law so, it swiftly converts the ketose to aldose with a oxidation reaction whereby hydrogen is moved from one carbon of the former molecule come the 2nd carbon that the 2nd molecule.

Conversion the Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate to pyruvate


This is the last stage of glycolysis and also involves the conversion of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate right into pyruvate, ATP and also NADH. In this phase of the glycolysis pathway, the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate from the second stage is very first converted into 1, 3 bisphosphoglycerate (also recognized as 1, 3-bisphosphoglyceric acid). 

In this reaction, the enzyme glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase is associated in the enhancement of an orthophosphate (Pi) top top the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (on the third carbon the the molecule) to form 1, 3-bisphosphoglycerate. 

Given the the procedure also requires the visibility of the co-enzyme (Nicotinamide adenin dinucleotide) NAD+, it"s decreased to NADH by addition of a hydrogen ion from the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. Therefore, the whole reaction results in the manufacturing of 1, 3-bisphosphoglycerate, two (2) NADH molecules, and an extra hydrogen ion. Unequal Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, 1, 3-bisphosphoglycerate is composed of 2 Phosphoryl groups 


In the following step the this stage, a Phosphoryl group is moved from the 1, 3-bisphosphoglycerate to an ADP molecule causing the manufacturing of one ATP molecule and also 3-phosphoglycerate. This reaction, frequently known as substrate-level phosphorylation, is catalytic analysis by the enzyme phosphoglycerate kinase.

It"s worth noting the this step involves two molecule of 1, 3-bisphosphoglycerate. Because that this reason, two ADP molecules are connected in the reaction causing the production of 2 (2) molecule of ATP. 


* As formerly mentioned, the first stage the glycolysis offers a total of 2 ATP molecules. However, by the moment we acquire to the substrate-level phosphorylation reaction, two ATP molecules are produced. Therefore, at this details step, the full net the ATP produced is zero provided the process has only given back the two ATPs the were originally used.


Through the activity of the enzyme phosphoglycerate mutase (in the presence of 2, 3-biphosphoglycerate), 3-phosphoglycerate, the molecule created in the previous step, is transformed right into 2-phosphoglycerate. Here, a phosphoryl group located top top the 3rd carbon of the molecule (3-phosphoglycerate) is relocated to the 2nd carbon that the molecule thereby converting the molecule right into 2-phosphoglycerate. 

Through the conversion of the 3-phosphoglycerate, it becomes a little an ext reactive (by being much more unstable) together 2-phosphoglycerate. In turn, the 2-phosphoglycerate molecules space converted to phosphoenolpyruvate through the enzyme enolase.

This action is specifically important together it results in the manufacturing of a molecule (phosphoenolpyruvate/PEP) the can properly transfer a phosphoryl molecule forced to produce one more ATP molecule. 

This is a dehydration reaction the not just results in the formation of phosphoenolpyruvate but additionally a water molecule. Here, the enzyme removes a hydroxyl molecule located on the an initial carbon and hydrogen from the 2nd carbon to type a water molecule. 


* Typically, v regards come enzymes, a mutase move a group located top top one place of a molecule to one more location ~ above the molecule thereby an altering its properties.


* As compared to the 2-phosphoglycerate, the phosphoenolpyruvate (an enol) has actually a high phosphoryl-transfer potential which makes the reaction an extremely important.

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In the last action of the glycolytic pathway, a pyruvate molecule in addition to a molecule the ATP is produced. This reaction is catalytic analysis by pyruvate kinase in the presence of ADP. A hydrogen ion is also important because that the reaction offered that the replaces the phosphoryl group located on the phosphoenolpyruvate molecule thus enabling the team to be added to the ADP molecule. As a result, the reaction produce a pyruvate molecule and also ATP molecules.

Here, since two (2) 3- phosphoglycerate are involved in the reaction, then two molecules of ATP and 2 molecules of pyruvate space produced. Conversely, ATP is created through the addition of a phosphoryl group onto the ADP molecule, the pyruvate molecule is created by replacing the phosphoryl group with a hydrogen ion. 


* The fate that pyruvate is greatly dependent ~ above the presence or lack of oxygen. In the lack of oxygen (anaerobic), the pyruvate is lessened (gains hydrides) come lactic mountain while NADH is oxidized and converted come 2 NAD+ by Lactase Dehydrogenase (LDH).

Although the mountain (lactic acid) can be converted earlier to glucose in the liver or used to create ATP, the can an outcome in blood becoming much more acidic by reduce the pH. In the visibility of oxygen, the pyruvate is generally converted to acetyl-CoA and consequently enters the Krebs cycle wherein it"s involved in the manufacturing of additional energy. 


* In general, glycolysis results in the manufacturing of a full of two ATP molecules. 


See also: Pentose Phosphate Pathway, Anaerobes, Glycosomes

Return indigenous Glycolysis to home


Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, and also Stryer L. (2002). Glycolysis Is an Energy-Conversion Pathway in countless Organisms: Biochemistry. 5th edition.

Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, and Stryer L. (2002). Glycolysis and Gluconeogenesis. 

David A. Bender. (2014). Introduction to Nutrition and Metabolism, 5th Edition.