Glycolysis (from glycose, an older term for glucose + -lysis degradation) is the metabolic pathway that converts glucose C6H12O6, into pyruvate, CH3COCOO− + H+. The free energy released in this process is used to form the high-energy molecules ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and NADH (reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). Glycolysis is a sequence of ten enzyme-catalyzed reactions. Most monosaccharides, such as fructose and galactose, can be converted to one of these intermediates. The intermediates may also be directly useful rather than just utilized as steps in the overall reaction. For example, the intermediate dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) is a source of the glycerol that combines with fatty acids to form fat. Glycolysis is an oxygen-independent metabolic pathway. The wide occurrence of glycolysis indicates that it is an ancient metabolic pathway. Indeed, the reactions that constitute glycolysis and its parallel pathway, the pentose phosphate pathway, occur metal-catalyzed under the oxygen-free conditions of the Archean oceans, also in the absence of enzymes. In most organisms, glycolysis occurs in the cytosol. The most common type of glycolysis is the Embden–Meyerhof–Parnas (EMP pathway), which was discovered by Gustav Embden, Otto Meyerhof, and Jakub Karol Parnas. Glycolysis also refers to other pathways, such as the Entner–Doudoroff pathway and various heterofermentative and homofermentative pathways. However, the discussion here will be limited to the Embden–Meyerhof–Parnas pathway. The glycolysis pathway can be separated into two phases: The Preparatory/Investment Phase – wherein ATP is consumed. The Pay Off Phase – wherein ATP is produced.


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