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The pentose phosphate pathway is the major source for the NADPH required for anabolic processes. There are three distinct phases each of which has a distinct outcome. Depending on the needs of the organism the metabolites of that outcome can be fed into many other pathways. Gluconeogenesis is directly connected to the pentose phosphate pathway. As the need for glucose-6-phosphate (the beginning metabolite in the pentose phosphate pathway) increases so does the activity of gluconeogenesis.
The main molecule in the body that makes anabolic processes possible is NADPH. Because of the structure of this molecule it readily donates hydrogen ions to metabolites thus reducing them and making them available for energy harvest at a later time. The PPP is the main source of synthesis for NADPH. The pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) is also responsible for the production of Ribose-5-phosphate which is an important part of nucleic acids. Finally the PPP can also be used to produce glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate which can then be fed into the TCA and ETC cycles allowing for the harvest of energy. Depending on the needs of the cell certain enzymes can be regulated and thus increasing or decreasing the production of desired metabolites. The enzymes reasonable for catalyzing the steps of the PPP are found most abundantly in the liver (the major site of gluconeogenesis) more specifically in the cytosol. The cytosol is where fatty acid synthesis takes place which is a NADPH dependent process.
Where does the PPP take place and why there?
The PPP has three main phases, what are the outcomes of those phases?
What is Ribose-5-phosphate and why is it important?
In the isomerization phase of the PPP there are two enzymes that catalyze two different reactions. How are the out comes of these two reactions different? (Hint: What is being changed in these reactions?)
Name all eight enzymes in the PPP and briefly describe the processes.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1246120