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Citric Acid and Other Organic Compounds

Citric acid (citrate) is an important substance in the Krebs cycle.


The Krebs cycle is key in the oxidation of sugars, proteins and fats to carbon
dioxide and water.
Many of the cycle compounds are also needed for the synthesis of the cells' own
proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
The microorganism makes more citric acid in the Krebs cycle than needed for the
cell's metabolism and exports it outside the cell.
Pyruvic Acid and Metabolism
Pyruvic acid supplies energy to living cells through the citric acid cycle (also
known as the Krebs cycle) when oxygen is present (aerobic respiration); when
oxygen is lacking, it ferments to produce lactic acid.
Pyruvate is converted into acetyl-coenzyme A, which is the main input for a series
of reactions known as the Krebs cycle.
Pyruvate is also converted to oxaloacetate by an anaplerotic reaction, which
replenishes Krebs cycle intermediates; also, oxaloacetate is used for
gluconeogenesis.
The cycle is also known as the citric acid cycle or tri-carboxylic acid cycle,
because citric acid is one of the intermediate compounds formed during the
reactions.
Pyruvic acid supplies energy to living cells through the citric acid cycle (also
known as the Krebs cycle) when oxygen is present (aerobic respiration), and
alternatively ferments to produce lactic acid when oxygen is lacking
(fermentation).
Citric Acid Cycle
The last step in the citric acid cycle regenerates oxaloacetate by oxidizing malate.
Each turn of the cycle forms three NADH molecules and one FADH2 molecule.
One GTP or ATP is also made in each cycle.
Several of the intermediate compounds in the citric acid cycle can be used in
synthesizing non-essential amino acids; therefore, the cycle is amphibolic (both
catabolic and anabolic).
Because the final product of the citric acid cycle is also the first reactant, the cycle
runs continuously in the presence of sufficient reactants.
The name we'll primarily use here, the citric acid cycle, refers to the first molecule that
forms during the cycle's reactionscitrate, or, in its protonated form, citric acid.
However, you may also hear this series of reactions called the tricarboxylic acid (TCA)
cycle, for the three carboxyl groups on its first two intermediates, or the Krebs cycle,
after its discoverer, Hans Krebs.

[See a picture of the first two intermediates]


\text {H}^+H, start superscript, plus, end superscript

The citric acid cycle, refers to the first molecule that forms during the cycle's reactions
citrate, or, in its protonated form, citric acid. However, you may also hear this series of
reactions called the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, for the three carboxyl groups on its
first two intermediates, or the Krebs cycle, after its discoverer, Hans Krebs.
The citric cycle is a central driver of cellular respiration. It takes acetyl CoAproduced
by the oxidation of pyruvate and originally derived from glucoseas its starting material
and, in a series of redox reactions, harvests much of its bond energy in the form of
NADH, FADH2, and ATP molecules. The reduced electron carriers NADH, FADH2
generated in the TCA cycle will pass their electrons into the electron transport chain and,
through oxidative phosphorylation, will generate most of the ATP produced in cellular
respiration.