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This animation shows how glycolysis converts glucose into pyruvate through a series of enzyme reactions. It is the first of six animations about cellular respiration. These animations bring to life the molecular engines inside mitochondria that generate ATP, the main source of chemically stored energy used throughout the body.
Glycolysis converts glucose from the food we eat into molecules that enter downstream cellular respiration processes. Though a sequence of specialized enzymes, the glycolysis pathway ultimately converts each glucose molecule into two pyruvate molecules, which can then be converted into acetyl-CoA (second animation). Glycolysis also produces two NADH, which can help power the electron transport chain (fourth animation), and two ATP, which are used for many cellular processes (sixth animation).
The animation is appropriate for teaching advanced high school or college-level students the in-depth mechanisms of glycolysis. For more general audiences, the animation can be used as an example of enzymes and chemical reactions in action. Depending on students’ background, it may be helpful to pause the animation at various points to discuss different reactions or molecules.
All six cellular respiration animations are also available in a YouTube playlist.
An audio descriptive version of the film is available via our media player.
cellular respiration, chemical reaction, energy, enzyme, glucose, isomer, metabolism, mitochondria, NADH, pyruvate
The resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. No rights are granted to use HHMI’s or BioInteractive’s names or logos independent from this Resource or in any derivative works.
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
AP Biology (2019)
IB Biology (2016)
Vision and Change (2009)