Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, Ricardo Amils, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII, William M. Irvine, Daniele L. Pinti, Michel Viso

Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas Pathway

  • Juli PeretóEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-11274-4_503



The Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas (EMP) pathway allows the metabolic use of glucose to generate ATP, NADH, and several biosynthetic precursors such as 3-phosphoglycerate or pyruvate. The EMP pathway can occur both anaerobically (leading to one or several  fermentation pathways) and aerobically through the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl CoA and the connection with the tricarboxylic acids (TCA) cycle. The classical version of the EMP pathway is present in bacteria and eukaryotes whereas several modified versions are present in anaerobic archaea. The second half of the pathway is almost universal, and thus, it could represent the oldest part of the pathway, related to a primordial origin of  gluconeogenesis.


By 1940, the canonical glycolytic pathway (i.e., the one responsible for alcoholic fermentation in yeasts and anaerobic  glycolysisin muscle) was elucidated. Actually, it was the result of a collective task with the contributions of, among others,...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universitat de ValènciaInstitut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia EvolutivaValènciaSpain