26 January 2022




2 min read

Greek Word

Glykys (sweet/sugar)+ Lysis (splitting) = Glycolysis


A molecule of glucose is degraded in a very series of enzyme catalyzed reactions to yield two molecules of the three carbon compound pyruvate.

Scientists – 1930

  1. Embden
  2. Meyerhof
  3. Parnas
  • Glycolysis was the first metabolic pathway to be elucidated and is probably the best understood.
  • It is an almost universal central pathway of glucose catabolism, the pathway with the largest flux of carbon in most cells.
  • It’s occurs in all living organisms.
Glycolysis,  EMP pathway,  Biochemistry, Science

Step wise events of Glycolysis

The breakdown of the 6 carbon glucose into two molecules of the 3 carbon pyruvate occurs in 10 steps, the first 5 of which constitute the preparatory phase.


In this reactions, glucose is first phosphorylated at the hydroxyl group on C-6.


The D-glucose 6- phosphate thus formed is converted to D-fructose 6- phosphate.


Which is again phosphorylated, now at C-1, to yield D-fructose 1,6- bisphosphate.


Fructose 1,6-bisphosphate is split to yield two three- carbon molecules, dihydroxyacetone phosphate & glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate; this is the “lysis” step that gives the pathway its name.


The dihydroxyacetone phosphate is isomerized to a second molecule of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, ending the primary phase of Glycolysis. The energy gain comes within the payoff phase of Glycolysis.


Each molecule of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate is oxidized & phosphorylated by inorganic phosphate to form 1,3- bisphosphoglycerate.


Energy is then released because the two molecules of 1,3- bisphosphoglycerate are converted to 2 molecules of pyruvate.

Sequential Reaction

  1. Degradation of glucose to yield pyruvate.
  2. Phosphorylation of ADP to ATP.
  3. Transfer of a hybrid ions to NAD+, forming NADH.


Glucose + 2NAD+ + 2ADP + 2Pi —–> 2 Pyruvate + 2NADH + 2H+ + 2ATP + 2H2O.

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