What role does a glucose molecule play in the cell?

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chaserunyan | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Glucose plays a large role in how heterotrophic organisms obtain energy on the cellular level.  Glucose molecules are used in a process know as cellular respiration.  This process is composed of three steps:  Glycolysis, The Kreb's Cycle, and Electron Transport.  Glucose molecules are partially oxidized in glycolysis in order to make a product called pyruvate for the next stage, The Kreb's Cycle.  Pyruvate is used in the Kreb's Cycle to create molecules carrying energy rich electrons.  Finally the electron transport stage generates more energy rich molecules known as ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate)!  The electron transport will create 32 ATP, however the entire process of cellular respiration will create 36 ATP, and it is all started with glucose.  

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gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Glucose molecule serves as the energy source in the cells.

The cellular respiration is of three types: aerobic, anaerobic and fermentation. And glucose can generate energy for the cell (in the form of ATP or adenosine triphosphate molecules) from either of these respiration pathways. The respiration is split into three parts: glycolysis, Kreb's cycle and electron transport chain. In the first stage, i.e. Glycolysis, glucose is phophorylated by addition of a charged phosphate group and this results in formation of glucose 6-phosphate. The addition of this charged group ensures that glucose will not be able to diffuse out of the cell. Further breakdown of glucose molecule takes place in subsequent glycolysis steps.

In aerobic respiration, a glucose molecules provides 30-32 molecules of ATP, while in anaerobic respiration, it results in a net production of 2 ATP molecules. 

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ntmminor | eNotes Newbie

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Glucose is used by our cells for energy. It is converted to ATP through glycolysis in the cytoplasm and aerobic respiration in the mitochondria. Glycolysis produces a net 2 ATP and aerobic respiration can produce up to 36 ATP molecules depending on how the pyruvate is transported into the mitochondria.

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mrinalinisrm89 | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

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Glucose ( hexose sugar) is a primary fuel for heterotrophs. Energy derived from glucose is stored in the form of high-energy phosphate bonds in ATP, or other nucleotide triphosphates, and along with co-enzymes ( NADP and NAD) .

The metabolic pathways involved with the production and utilization of these high-energy intermediates are -

1-cytoplasmic glycolytic pathway

2-cytoplasmic pentose phosphate shunt, PPP

3-cytoplamic:mitochondrial aspartate:malate shuttle

4-cytoplamic:mitochondrial glycerol:phosphate shuttle

5-mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid cycle, TCA

6-mitochondrial electron transport chain

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