Biophysics 354
Lecture 2


This lecture presents a review of anaerobic metabolism.

Glycolysis - overview

Glycolysis outline

Glycolysis outline - Chime structures

Glucose is metabolised in the cell through glycolysis, also know as the Embden-Meyerhoff Pathway

"Glycolysis is the primary pathway for anaerobic degradation of D-glucopyranoses and other D-hexopyranoses. It is probably universal among organisms: certainly the enzymes which catalyze the pathway's reactions are among the most conserved (and therefore presumably most ancient) among proteins." (Quoted from ref. 3 below).

Under anaerobic conditions, glycolysis is a self-contained process leading to the production of fermentation products which vary from organism to organism. In mammalian cells, the primary product is lactate; in yeasts, ethanol and CO2. The process can be split into several stages:

The net yield of anaerobic glycolysis is 2ATP / glucose, with an overall reaction:

glucose + 2 ADP + 2 phosphate <==> 2 lactate + 2 ATP

Central Role of ATP in energy metabolism

The conversion between ATP, and ADP and phosphate, plays a central role in the energy metabolism of the cell. The poise of the reaction in a metabolic compartment plays a determining role in the direction of metabolism, either directly through thermodynamics, or indirectly through the activating (or inhibitory) effects on enzymes.

Compartmentalization of the eukaryote cell

Useful Links


  1. A nice introduction to glycolysis

  2. A clickable pathway with biochemical information, PDB files of enzymes*
  3. Glycolysis in a Chime tutorial.
  4. A clickable metabolic web representation of glycolysis, which provides links to reaction parameters, physical chemistry, PDB files of intermediates*, etc.(The Klotho project)
    *(You will need a viewer to see Brookhaven Protein Data Bank (PDB) structural files. If you use Netscape, you can download Rasmol (a stand-alone viewer) or Chime (a plug-in) by clicking here. Download Rasmol, or Chime plug-in)
  5. What Is There? (WIT- a successor to the PUMA project).
  6. A text version with clickable reactions
  7. A colorful summary of glycolysis and the citric acid cycle


©Copyright 1996, Antony Crofts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,