The Columbia Encyclopedia, s.v. “glycolysis,” accessed April 07, 2013, http://www.credoreference.com/entry/columency/glycolysis
In this informative article, the process of glycolysis is described as a metabolic pathway for the degradation of glucose. This important process takes place in most organisms including micro organisms such as yeast and bacteria.
The process is known to be a series of consecutive chemical conversions, containing eleven different enzymes in all. It starts with one molecule of glucose and finishes with the production of two molecules of pyruvic acid. The catabolic pathway involves a six carbon glucose being reduced to the three carbon pyruvic acid. Enery is liberated along the pathway in the form of the molecule adenosine triphosphate also referred to as ATP. It is therefore said that ATP synthesis is coupled into the process of glycolysis.
Usually cellular reactions, especially those involved in the synthesis of different components important to the cell and its functionsm require ATP as a source of energy. Glycolysis acts as a source for this.
The two major stages of this metabolic pathway involves the conversion of glucose to an intermediate sugar, glucose 6- phosphate and finally the conversion to pyruvate. This product is then further metabolized to complete the breakdown of glucose in two possible way based on the organism. In certain organisms, such as bacteria and brewer’s yeast, a process known as homolactic fermentation involves the production of lactic acid as the final product converted from pyruvic acid.
Pyruvic acid can also be converted to ethanol and carbon dioxide by an enzyme-catalyzed two-step process, termed alcoholic fermentation. In the tissues of many organisms, including mammals, glycolysis is a prelude to the complex metabolic machinery that ultimately converts pyruvic acid to carbon dioxide and water with the concomitant production of much ATP and the consumption of oxygen. These are the two different end results of glycolysis