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pegasus10

Anaerobic glycolysis

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Hello, is it formally correct to state that anaerobic glycolysis is the exact same thing as fermentation? For example, if I write "In human cells anaerobic glycolysis, starting from one molecule of glucose, gives two molecules of lactate", can I substitute "anaerobic glycolysis" with "lactic acid fermentation"?

Thanks in advance!

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That is a very good question. I will add the caveat that this is only true for eukaryotic systems, as in bacterial ones there are many more ways to deal with anaerobic situations. But since you added human cells, and there I would say it is not  wrong. The main issue I would think is one of perspective. If using "anaerobic glycolysis" one often refers to the upper part of the pathway and associated ATP generation, whereas when using the term "fermentation"  the focus is usually on the regeneration of reducing equivalents. 

However, that is not a hard rule and could be viewed differently.

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I would define a fermentation as any anaerobic catabolism of a carbohydrate, but my definition may not be universal.  A pathway that included glycolysis plus something to regenerate the NAD and bring pyruvate back to the same oxidation level as glucose would qualify as a fermentation in my mind.  I can think of two commonly encountered examples.

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