Citric Acid Cycle
Citric acid cycle is also called Krebs cycle or tricarboxylic acid cycle. It refers to several chemical reactions that are used by aerobic organisms in generating energy via oxidation of the acetate that id derived from fats, proteins and carbohydrates into chemical energy and carbon dioxide in adenosine triphosphate form.
Additionally, citric acid cycle offers precursors of amino acids and reduction of agent NADH. This agent is used in different biochemical reactions. The central importance of this cycle to different biochemical pathways is a suggestion that the cycle was among the earliest components to be established in cellular metabolism and there are also suggestions that it originated abiogenically.
The metabolic pathway is named after citric acid. This is a tricarboxylic acid that is generated and consumed by this series of reactions that complete the cycle. Additionally, this cycle consume acetate and water. Acetate is in acetyl-CoA form. It reduces the NAD+ to NADH while producing carbon dioxide as the waste byproduct.
NADH that is generated by TCA cycle is usually fed to oxidative phosphorylation which is the electron transport pathway. The final result of the closely linked pathways is nutrients’ oxidation that produces chemical energy that is usable in ATP form.
In the eukaryotic cells, citric acid cycle takes place in matrix of mitochondrion. In the prokaryotic cells, like the bacteria which do not have mitochondria, the sequence of TCA occurs in cytosol which has proton gradient of the production of ATP that is across the surface of the cell or the plasma membrane instead of the inner membrane of mitochondrion.
Establishment of several reactions and components of citric acid cycle happened in 1930s by a study done by Nobel Laureate award winner, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi. Albert was awarded the Nobel Prize for this discovery in 1937. The discovery pertained to the fumaric acid and an important component of this cycle. Citric acid itself was identified finally by Hands Adolf Krebs in 1937 while in the University of Sheffield. He also received Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology in 1953.
Citric acid components were first derived from the anaerobic bacteria and the cycle itself might have emerged more than a single time. Theoretically, there exist several alternatives to TCA cycle. However, TCA cycle seems to be more efficient than the alternatives. Despite several alternatives of TCA having emerged separately or independently, they all seem to be converging to tricarboxylic acid cycle.
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