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Stage 2 of Glycolysis
Stage two of the glycolytic pathway involves the breakdown of fructose 1,6-bisphosphate into two identical three-carbon molecules called glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate or simply GAP. In the first step, an enzyme called aldolase cleaves a bond in the open-chain form of fructose 1,6-bisphosphate to form two different three carbon molecules, one of them being the glyceraldehyde 3-phopshate and the other being dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP). The glyceraldehyde 3-phopshate lies directly on the glycolytic pathway and so goes on to stage three. On the other hand, dihydroxyacetone phosphate does not and so needs to be converted into a glyceraldehyde 3-phopshate molecule before it can be used by the glycolytic pathway. An enzyme called triose phosphate isomerase (TPI) catalyzes the conversion of the ketose to the aldose via an intramolecular oxidation-reduction reaction in which a hydrogen atom is transferred from the first carbon to the second carbon. This enzyme speeds up the reaction by a factor of ten billion and prevents any competing reactions from taking place.
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