- Describe the function of glycolysis and identify its major products.
- Describe how the presence or absence of oxygen determines what happens to the pyruvate and the NADH that are produced in glycolysis.
- Determine the amount of ATP produced by the oxidation of glucose in the presence and absence of oxygen.
In stage II of catabolism, the metabolic pathway known as glycolysis converts glucose into two molecules of pyruvate (a three-carbon compound with three carbon atoms) with the corresponding production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The individual reactions in glycolysis were determined during the first part of the 20th century. It was the first metabolic pathway to be elucidated, in part because the participating enzymes are found in soluble form in the cell and are readily isolated and purified. The pathway is structured so that the product of one enzyme-catalyzed reaction becomes the substrate of the next. The transfer of intermediates from one enzyme to the next occurs by diffusion.