The term glycolysis refers to the conversion of glucose to pyruvate in the cytosol of eucayotic and procaryotic cells.

In the glycolytic pathway, carbohydrates serve as the starting point. The covalent bonds of carbohydrates represent a tremendous amount of chemical potential energy. The biochemical pathways by which the carbohydrates are metabolized represent reactions in which the chemical potential energy is extracted from carbohydrates so that the energy can be used to synthesize ATP.

The potential chemical energy of the carbohydrates is extracted in the form of high energy electrons by reactions called oxidation-reduction reactions. In addition, ATP is synthesized during glycolysis by a process known as substrate level phosphorylation.

Glycolysis occurs in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic) and consists of a number of enzyme catalyzed reactions as listed below. To see a cartoon of glycolysis click here.


return to outline