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Expanding Glucose Metabolism Beyond Mitochondria: A Paradigm Shift! 

Researchers Alessandro Maria Morelli and Felix Scholkmann have introduced a groundbreaking model that promises to revolutionize our understanding of cellular energy metabolism. Their study suggests a novel coupling between glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), and extra-mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation as the primary glucose oxidation pathways.

Key highlights:

  • The new model proposes a closed-loop process involving glucose metabolism, challenging the traditional view primarily focusing on ATP production.

  • It reconsiders the role of mitochondria, emphasizing lipid degradation and acetyl-CoA production over ATP synthesis.

  • This innovative approach addresses the energetically unfavorable reactions in glycolysis, specifically the thermodynamically challenging step of cleaving fructose 1,6-bisphosphate into glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate and dihydroxyacetone phosphate.

  • It offers fresh insights into metabolic processes, potentially resolving long-standing controversies, and provides a new perspective on the Warburg effect in cancer metabolism.

Our understanding of cellular respiration and energy production is evolving significantly with more exciting updates to come.

Morelli, A.M. and F. Scholkmann, Should the standard model of cellular energy metabolism be reconsidered? Possible coupling between the pentose phosphate pathway, glycolysis and extra-mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Biochimie, 2024.

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