Glycolysis is a complex process that includes enzymatic reactions, very important for many processes. Without this chemical process, no living creature would be able to survive. One of its main effects is energy generating, being the most popular metabolic pathways. Briefly, this process transforms glucose in pyruvate, but what is happening during such a phenomenon is much more complex and many chemical reactions take place. Such an important chemical reaction wouldn’t have been possible without Louis Pasteur, but Eduard Buchner was the scientist who later discovered important things as well. Nonetheless, another two scientists contributed to such an important discovery: William Youngalong and Nick Sheppard. Later, new essential elements were revealed by Otto Meyerhof and his work was continued by Louis Leloir. It’s amazing how many people were interested in this process and how each of them added something new, but very important.
This process is an anaerobic metabolic pathway, which is found in the cytosol of cells, forming then adenosine triphosphate. This chemical reaction serves as a precursor for other reactions and is also a recipient of products or several pathways. It’s also essential for our metabolism, being involved even in our early history of life.One of the main phases of the process is when one molecule of glucose is converted to two molecules of pyruvic acid.
Along the way, many types of molecules are reduced to NADH, which carries high-energy electrons and later new transformations of NADH and ATP take place, leaving a pair of three-carbon pyruvates. Glycolysis has ten steps which can be divided into two stages. The five steps are named the preparatory ones, being actually the first stage of the process. Other five steps form two molecules of pyruvate and four of ATP. Glycolysis also has several control points and is regulated during several steps. Later, during the process, aerobically respiring cells will produce oxidative phosphorylation, which is also a complex chemical reaction. Those cells which don’t respire aerobically, they cannot do this. In the absence of oxygen, the pyruvate is turned to NAD and these reactions are usually known as fermentations. Many bacteria, as well as some plants and animals produce lactic acid, while bacteria and yeast produce ethanol and carbon dioxide. Fermentations are used a lot by industry to produce these compounds, but cheaply, the main products being bread, beer, as well as wine and yoghurt.