Glycolysis 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, glycolysis is a determined sequence of ten enzyme-catalyzed reactions. The intermediates provide entry points to glycolysis, for example, most monosaccharides, such as fructose and galactose, can be converted to one of these intermediates. The intermediates may also be directly useful, for example, the intermediate dihydroxyacetone phosphate is a source of the glycerol that combines with fatty acids to form fat. Glycolysis is an oxygen independent metabolic pathway, meaning that it not use molecular oxygen for any of its reactions. However the products of glycolysis are sometimes metabolized using atmospheric oxygen, when molecular oxygen is used for the metabolism of the products of glycolysis the process is usually referred to as aerobic, whereas if no oxygen is used the process is said to be anaerobic. Thus, glycolysis occurs, with variations, in all organisms. The wide occurrence of glycolysis indicates that it is one of the most ancient metabolic pathways, glycolysis could thus have originated from chemical constraints of the prebiotic world. Glycolysis occurs in most organisms in the cytosol of the cell, the most common type of glycolysis is the Embden–Meyerhof–Parnas, which was discovered by Gustav Embden, Otto Meyerhof, and Jakub Karol Parnas. Glycolysis also refers to other pathways, such as the Entner–Doudoroff pathway, however, the discussion here will be limited to the Embden–Meyerhof–Parnas pathway. The overall reaction of glycolysis is, The use of symbols in this equation makes it appear unbalanced with respect to oxygen atoms, hydrogen atoms, and charges. In the cellular environment, all three groups of ADP dissociate into −O− and H+, giving ADP3−, and this ion tends to exist in an ionic bond with Mg2+. ATP behaves identically except that it has four groups, giving ATPMg2−. When these differences along with the charges on the two phosphate groups are considered together, the net charges of −4 on each side are balanced. For simple fermentations, the metabolism of one molecule of glucose to two molecules of pyruvate has a net yield of two molecules of ATP, most cells will then carry out further reactions to repay the used NAD+ and produce a final product of ethanol or lactic acid. Many bacteria use inorganic compounds as hydrogen acceptors to regenerate the NAD+, cells performing aerobic respiration synthesize much more ATP, but not as part of glycolysis. These further aerobic reactions use pyruvate and NADH + H+ from glycolysis, the pathway of glycolysis as it is known today took almost 100 years to fully discover. The combined results of many experiments were required in order to understand the pathway as a whole
Summary of aerobic respiration
Eduard Buchner. Discovered cell-free fermentation.
Otto Meyerhof. One of the main scientists involved in completing the puzzle of glycolysis
Image: Metabolism of common monosaccharides, and related reactions