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citric acid

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Citric acid cycle (or Krebs cycle or TCA cycle)

The citric acid cycle (or Krebs cycle or TCA cycle) takes place within the mitochondrial matrix. In this cycle, pyruvic acid generated from glycolysis is converted into acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl CoA) by losing a carbon dioxide molecule. It then combines with oxaloacetic acid to form citric acid, a six-carbon molecule.

In total, it loses 2 CO2 molecules and 4 electrons, of which 3 are accepted by NAD+ to reduce it to NADH, and the last electron accepted by FAD+ to reduce to FADH2 in redox reactions.

In the end, it regenerates oxaloacetic acid to continue the citric acid cycle. In addition, a single GTP molecule is created from the combination of GDP and a phosphate group.

Since 2 pyruvic acid molecules are formed by glycolysis, each time a cell undergoes glycolysis two turns of the citric acid cycle will occur. That means that the citric acid cycle produces a total of 6 NADH, 2 FADH2, and 2 GTP molecules.