acetyl-CoA from pyruvic acid, we find that there are three stages in which carbon dioxide is released. To cause the release of carbon dioxide, other specific protein enzymes, called decarboxylases, split the carbon dioxide away from the substrate. The carbon dioxide is then dissolved in the body fluids and transported to the lungs, where it is expired from the body (see Chapter 40).
Formation of Large Quantities of ATP by Oxidation of Hydrogen (the Process of Oxidative Phosphorylation)
Despite all the complexities of (1) glycolysis, (2) the citric acid cycle, (3) dehydrogenation, and (4) decar-boxylation, pitifully small amounts of ATP are formed during all these processes—only two ATP molecules in the glycolysis scheme and another two in the citric acid cycle for each molecule of glucose metabolized. Instead, almost 90 per cent of the total ATP created through glucose metabolism is formed during subsequent oxidation of the hydrogen atoms that were released at early stages of glucose degradation. Indeed, the principal function of all these earlier stages is to make the hydrogen of the glucose molecule available in forms that can be oxidized.
Oxidation of hydrogen is accomplished, as illustrated in Figure 67-7, by a series of enzymatically catalyzed reactions in the mitochondria. These reactions (1) split each hydrogen atom into a hydrogen ion and an electron and (2) use the electrons eventually to combine dissolved oxygen of the fluids with water molecules to form hydroxyl ions. Then the hydrogen and hydroxyl ions combine with each other to form water. During
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.