glycolysis for dummies


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Overview of Glycolysis


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Glycolysis for Dummies (Like Me) : 

Glycolysis for Dummies (Like Me) Turning Glucose into Pyruvic Acid

Things to Know About Glycolysis : 

Things to Know About Glycolysis It is an anaerobic Process. It does not require oxygen. It takes place in the cell’s cytoplasm (the liquid stuff the organelles swim around in.) It requires burning 2 adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules. ATP is the fuel used by all human cells for cellular respiration. There are 10 steps in all in Glycolysis. And a whole bunch of different enzymes play important roles in breaking down the different Glucose/Fructose molecules. The net end result of Glycolysis is 2 molecules of ATP , 2 molecules of Pyruvic Acid, 2 molecules of water, and 2 molecules of NADH (an enzyme that helps transport electrons).

Vocabulary Words : 

Vocabulary Words There are two big words that can help you understand Glycolysis. The first is Oxidation. Oxidation is changing the way molecules share electrons. NAD+ is a co-enzyme (a helper) whose role is to transport electrons. NAD+ is an oxidizing agent. When NAD+ picks up electrons for transport, it becomes NADH. NADH is an electron donor. The second is Phosphorylation. Phosphorylation happens when a phosophorus group is added to a molecule. In Glycolysis, phosphorylation occurs when enzymes act to move phosophate groups around. This is known as substrate-phosphorylation. When a phosphate group is added to an ADP molecule – the ADP molecule is transformed it into an ATP molecule.

Glycolysis : 

Glycolysis Glycolysis is the process of breaking down Glucose (catabolism). In it’s most simple form, Glucose can be thought of as a 6 carbon molecule: OOOOOO – Glucose Glucose also contains some hydrogen, and some oxygen molecules, too. The first step in Glycolysis happens when an enzyme called hexokinase acts on the Glucose molecule to add 2 phosphorus molecules (substrate phosphorylation). OOOOOOOO The result is a six carbon sugar molecule that is now called Fructose . It is important to notice that phosphates have now been added to the molecular equation. These phosphates will continue to be shuffled/shared as enzymes continue to act on our simple Glucose Molecule. **This process uses 2 ATP Molecules.

Sugar Cleavage Don’t get excited boys. It just means Sugar Separation. : 

Sugar Cleavage Don’t get excited boys. It just means Sugar Separation. An enzyme called aldolase comes along and the six carbon sugar molecule is split into two separate molecules: OOOO OOOO 1 (3) carbon sugar 1 (3) carbon sugar These sugars are isomers….they contain the same molecules, but the arrangement of those molecules is different. This is important to note because the different molecules will be acted on, and react differently to the enzymes that continue to break down our glucose molecule.

Sugar Oxidation and ATP Formation : 

Sugar Oxidation and ATP Formation Now the NAD+ comes into play. The NAD+ comes along and re arranges the way our 3 carbon sugar molecules are sharing electrons. The NAD+ becomes NADH+ (an electron donor). More enzymes come along, and perform their magic. More Phosphate molecules are shuffled around. The result of the Sugar Oxidation process is 2 NAD+, 2 H20, 2 molecules of Pyruvic Acid AND 4 ATP MOLECULES!

Summary of Glycolysis : 

Summary of Glycolysis Let’s review… we started with one six carbon Glucose molecule. By adding 2 phosphorus molecules to Glucose, we converted the Glucose into a Fructose. We used 2 ATP molecules to perform this process. An enzyme came along and the Fructose broke down into two, 3 carbon sugar isomers. The two 3 carbon sugar isomers were changed by NAD+ (our oxidizing agent), which left us with NAD+ with some H+ electrons. Various enzymes come into play, and continue to re-arrange the molecules by shuffling the phosphate groups and hydrogen


THE END RESULT IS… 4 ATP MOLECULES, 2 H2Os, 2 PYRUVIC ACIDS, AND 2 NADH MOLECULES 4 ATP molecules – 2 ATP molecules (used in the initial step to add phosphorus to our glucose molecule) = 2 ATP Molecules Net The 2 PYRUVIC MOLECULES, are either passed along and used in the Krebs Cycle to create more ATP. Or, in the absence of oxygen, they are converted to lactic acid (which will make your muscles burn). Phew

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