A Quick Overview of Cellular Respiration

Okay so maybe this isn't a story or a song.  But you know, sometimes you just need a good overview of the basics.  This is helpful to me and if it's helpful to you that's pretty awesome too.

Getting an overview of the big picture can be super helpful for when you start diving into details.  For pathways like this, it can also be useful to keep track of where the carbons are going.  For example, glucose is a six-carbon molecule so if you are going from glucose to pyruvate, which is a three carbon molecule, then you will need two pyruvate to make up the original six carbons.  Just like the majority of humans, carbons can't perform disappearing acts so make sure you have the right number of carbons.  The two pyruvate are converted into two acetyl CoA.  Acetyl CoA only has two carbons, giving a total right now of four carbons.  So what happened to the other two?  They were given off in the form of CO2 in the previous reaction.


Also, if you need to give the number of ATP produced by the ETC, this number can vary depending on the source so go by what your particular prof or text says.  However, it will be much greater than the number of ATP produced by glycolysis or the TCA cycle.

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