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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Explain the processes of glycolysis
  • Describe the pathway of a pyruvate molecule through the Krebs cycle
  • Explain the transport of electrons through the electron transport chain
  • Describe the process of ATP production through oxidative phosphorylation
  • Summarize the process of gluconeogenesis

Carbohydrates are organic molecules composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. The family of carbohydrates includes both simple and complex sugars. Glucose and fructose are examples of simple sugars, and starch, glycogen, and cellulose are all examples of complex sugars. The complex sugars are also called polysaccharides    and are made of multiple monosaccharide    molecules. Polysaccharides serve as energy storage (e.g., starch and glycogen) and as structural components (e.g., chitin in insects and cellulose in plants).

During digestion, carbohydrates are broken down into simple, soluble sugars that can be transported across the intestinal wall into the circulatory system to be transported throughout the body. Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth with the action of salivary amylase    on starches and ends with monosaccharides being absorbed across the epithelium of the small intestine. Once the absorbed monosaccharides are transported to the tissues, the process of cellular respiration    begins ( [link] ). This section will focus first on glycolysis, a process where the monosaccharide glucose is oxidized, releasing the energy stored in its bonds to produce ATP.

Cellular respiration

This figure shows the different pathways of cellular respiration. The pathways shown are glycolysis, the pyruvic acid cycle, the Krebs cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation.
Cellular respiration oxidizes glucose molecules through glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation to produce ATP.


Glucose is the body’s most readily available source of energy. After digestive processes break polysaccharides down into monosaccharides, including glucose, the monosaccharides are transported across the wall of the small intestine and into the circulatory system, which transports them to the liver. In the liver, hepatocytes either pass the glucose on through the circulatory system or store excess glucose as glycogen. Cells in the body take up the circulating glucose in response to insulin and, through a series of reactions called glycolysis    , transfer some of the energy in glucose to ADP to form ATP ( [link] ). The last step in glycolysis produces the product pyruvate    .

Glycolysis begins with the phosphorylation of glucose by hexokinase to form glucose-6-phosphate. This step uses one ATP, which is the donor of the phosphate group. Under the action of phosphofructokinase, glucose-6-phosphate is converted into fructose-6-phosphate. At this point, a second ATP donates its phosphate group, forming fructose-1,6-bisphosphate. This six-carbon sugar is split to form two phosphorylated three-carbon molecules, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate and dihydroxyacetone phosphate, which are both converted into glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate. The glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate is further phosphorylated with groups donated by dihydrogen phosphate present in the cell to form the three-carbon molecule 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate. The energy of this reaction comes from the oxidation of (removal of electrons from) glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate. In a series of reactions leading to pyruvate, the two phosphate groups are then transferred to two ADPs to form two ATPs. Thus, glycolysis uses two ATPs but generates four ATPs, yielding a net gain of two ATPs and two molecules of pyruvate. In the presence of oxygen, pyruvate continues on to the Krebs cycle (also called the citric acid cycle    or tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA)    , where additional energy is extracted and passed on.

Questions & Answers

vocal cords
MT Reply
musah was admitted to your ward yesterday with traumatic amputation of the right thump . he complained this morning that he has not passed enough urine. Questions. 1) will you consider his complain to be pathological or physiological?. 2) in less than three sentences, justify your opinion. 3) Apply your understanding of the renin- angiotensin-aldosterone system to explain the factors and mechanisms accounting for his complains.
Ellen Reply
the mineral salt which break up a large portion of bone tissue is
Aurora Reply
please I need help. musah was admitted to your ward yesterday with traumatic amputation of the right thump. he complained this morning that he has not passed enough urine. Questions. 1). will you consider his complain to be pathological or physiological?.
2). In less than three sentences, justify your opinion.
cholesterol and triglycerides in simplest terms are fats (lipid) found in blood
Roy Reply
calcium is important for bone density and development. it also helps for safe / normal blood clotting, blood circulation to and from the heart, and muscle movement
what is muscle tissue
Rifat Reply
the muscle tissue is one of the 4 basic tissues in our body and is responsible for movement of our body
What Is difference between Ovary and Ovum
ovary is female reproductive organ while ovum is a female gamete formed from ovary
Thank You
What Is Cholesterol and Triglycerides
the mineral salt which break up a large portion of bone tissue
in simple way muscle tissue is responsible for movement of our body.
Hi Be Home Be safe , how are things doing hope all is well
Natarajan Reply
3 longitudinal bands of smooth muscles found in large intestines
what's is sutures
Nimeshka Reply
what would I like to know
Roy Reply
anything u can tell me
anatomy mins
when two or more bones meet.
I am interested in learning but it is a little threatening corona virus covid 19
Samnang Reply
I don't know about Corona virus
what would you like to know?
what is a peripheral protien
Ayesha Reply
actually its located in between the lipid layer, it does not specify if it's closer to the inside or the outside of the cell
It is protein found in lipid bilayer but found attached with Cytoplasm aspect
what are the collection of blood.?
sunshine Reply
Effect of exercise on different body systems?
Rania Reply
what is ambroylogy
kashif Reply
embryology..is the biological studing of embryos
I know biological study but embryology mean any pic, example?
I like to learn about medical and more
what is the function of the blood
Yolanda Reply
Transporting of oxygen,fighting against germs, forms clotting ,distribution of nutrients and minerals through out the body ,
Transportation of gases such as oxygen and water blance and carrei metabolites to the exit organ and Acid base equilibrium and clotting blood and Immune
What are Gross and microscopicAnatomy
Waiswa Reply
study of the internal structures of a human being
gross anatomy is the study of body parts that can be seen with our naked eyes while micro anatomy involves the study of body parts that cannot be seen with our naked eyes but with the aid of a microscope
gross means examination of specimen or tissue with bare (unaided ) eye while microscopic means examination of same with the help of microscope

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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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