Glycolysis or Embden–Meyerhof–Parnas (EMP) pathway is a series of ten reactions in which 6-carbon sugar glucose is broken into 2 molecules of 3-carbon pyruvic acid. It occurs in the cytoplasm of the cell.

The product, pyruvate, then meets with different fates depending on the type of respiration involved.

The six monosaccharide carbon sugar present in cytosol undergoes glycolysis in order to form two molecules of 3 carbon pyruvate.

There are mainly two phases in glycolysis pathway:

Phase one, which is the energy utilising phase. In this phase, the conversion of glucose occurs into Fructose-1, 6 Biphosphate.

Phase two which is the energy producing phase. In this phase, Fructose-1, 6 Biphosphate gets converted into pyruvic acid.

The fate of pyruvate depends on the availability of oxygen in the cell.

If aerobic respiration takes place in the cell in the presence of oxygen, pyruvate will be completely oxidised into carbon dioxide and water.

On the other hand, if the cell undergoes anaerobic respiration, in the absence of oxygen, the pyruvate will be converted into ethanol or lactic acid.

Glycolysis is a two-phase process of glucose breakdown in which one glucose is converted into pyruvate in order to generate energy in the form of ATP.

The process of glycolysis consumes 2 ATP but produces 4 ATP, thus the net gain is of 2 ATP molecules. 

Glycolysis also shuttles electrons to NAD thus creating 2 NADH, for substrate-level phosphorylation and produces two pyruvate molecules that will continue onto the citric acid cycle.

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