Respiration: glycolysis

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Respiration is the transfer of chemical potential energy from organic molecules to ATP in living cells. Most cells use carbohydrate, usually glucose, as their fuel.

Respiration of glucose has four main stages:

  • glycolysis in the cytoplasm of the cell
  • link reaction in the matrix of the mitochondrion
  • krebs cycle in the matrix of mitochondrion
  • oxidative phosphorylation on the inner mitochondrial membrane


The process begins with the splitting of glucose in the cytoplasm of a cell. After many steps, the 6 carbon (hexose) glucose is converted into two molecules of pyruvate., each with three carbon atoms. Energy from ATP is needed in the first two steps, phosphorylation, but energy used to make ATP is released


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