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    Gluconeogenesis is the synthesis of glucose. It is basically glycolysis run backwards; three new reactions (involving four new enzymes) make the standard free energy favorable.

    • Glycolysis: \( \Delta{G}_o’ = -74 \, \text{kcal/mol} \)
    • Gluconeogenesis: \( \Delta{G}_o' = -36 \, \text{kcal/mol} \)


    For every molecule of glucose synthesized from two molecules of pyruvate, 4 ATP, 2 GTP, and 2 NADH are used.

    In the Mitochondria

    Pyruvate + ATP \( \rightarrow \) Oxaloacetate + ADP + P

    Oxaloacetate + NADH \( \rightarrow \) Malate + NAD+

    The conversion to malate allows the molecule to be transported out of the mitochondria. Once in the cytoplasm, it is converted back to oxaloacetate.

    In the Cytoplasm

    Malate + NAD+ \( \rightarrow \) Oxaloacetate + NADH

    Oxaloacetate + GTP \( \rightarrow \) PEP + GDP

    From here, it goes through the same intermediates as glycolysis. The last reaction happens in the endoplasmic reticulum.

    In the Endoplasmic Reticulum

    G6P \( \rightarrow \) glucose (catalyst: glucose-6-phosphatase)

    A glucose transporter shuttles the glucose out into the extracellular space.


    Regulated Reactions Glycolysis Gluconeogenesis
    Glucose \( \rightleftharpoons \) G6P


    G6P (-)


    [G6P] (substrate level control)

    F6P \( \rightleftharpoons \) F1,6BP


    F2,6BP (+); AMP (+); ATP (-); citrate (-)


    F26BP (-); AMP (-)

    PEP \( \rightleftharpoons \) Pyruvate

    Pyruvate kinase:

    F1,6BP (+); acetyl CoA (-); ATP (-); alanine (-); cAMP-dependent phosphorylation (-)

    Pyruvate carboxylase:

    Acetyl-CoA (+)

    These reactions are tightly controlled so that glycolysis and gluconeogenesis are not run at the same time. If they were, the F1,6BP \( \rightleftharpoons \) F6P reaction could turn into a futile cycle, using up ATP without progressing in either direction.

    Glyoxylate Cycle

    Plants and bacteria can convert acetyl-CoA to glucose via the glyoxylate cycle. It is a modified version of the TCA cycle; an extra malate is produced which can be converted to glucose. Since animals lack this cycle, they cannot use acetyl-CoA to make glucose because it would stop the TCA cycle.

    Starch/Glycogen Synthesis

    Glucose is added to chains of glycogen for storage via starch/glycogen synthesis. Glucose is converted to G-6-P, then G-1-P. This is added to UDP, which gives glucose the free energy needed to add to the glycogen. (Plants use ADPG and ATP instead of UDPG and GTP.)

    Glucose + ATP \( \rightarrow \) G-6-P + ATP

    (catalyst: hexokinase)

    G-6-P \( \rightarrow \) G-1-P

    (catalyst: P-glucomutase)

    UTP + G-1-P \( \rightarrow \) UDPG + PPi

    (catalyst: UDPG pyrophosphorylase)

    PPi + H2O \( \rightarrow \) 2Pi

    The glucose of the UDP-glucose is added to the glycogen chain, leaving UDP.

    Pentose Phosphate Pathway (PPP)

    The PPP is a source of NADPH, which can be used in reductive anabolic pathways. The PPP can also produce ribose.

    Gluconeogenesis is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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