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Function of Nadh

Discussion of all aspects of biological molecules, biochemical processes and laboratory procedures in the field.

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Function of Nadh

Postby TheNinthAmbition » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:15 am

I have been doing some research, but all I can find is information on how many many molecules of Nad+ are reduced to form Nadh for each molecule of pyruvic acid, which i do not compeltely understand. My teacher gave us an assignment to discuss the function of 20 molecules. I have two left. Nadh and arachidonic acid.

Also, for arachidonic acid, does it regulate eicosatetraenoic acids? a more through explaination of what the function of arachidonic acid is would be helpful as well.

I am just trying to get this summer work done before school starts.
If you are wondering, I am a junior in high school taking A&P.
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Re: Function of Nadh

Postby blcr11 » Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:03 pm

I’m not completely sure what the question is. 1 molecule of glucose (a six-carbon monosaccharide) generates 2 molecules of pyruvic acid (three-carbon fragments: the glucose molecule is essentially cut into two parts) with the net production of 2 molecules of ATP and 2 molecules of NADH. Since you didn’t ask about ATP, I assume that either you weren’t asked, or you understand its functions.

NADH has many potential uses within metabolism. Since NAD+ accepts electrons in the process of being reduced to NADH, NADH is a source of reducing potential (read electrons). For example, under anaerobic conditions the pyruvate formed during glycolysis can be converted to lactic acid by an enzyme called lactic acid dehydrogenase. NADH is a cofactor for this enzyme (and a host of other dehydrogenase/oxidase enzymes) and is the source of electrons that reduces pyruvate to lactate regenerating oxidized NAD+ that can be used again in a fresh round of glycolysis. Another important use of NADH is to feed electrons into the electron transport pathway which also produces ATP and reoxidizes NADH back into NAD+ for re-use.

Arachidonic acid is an unsaturated twenty-carbon fatty acid precursor to a number of molecules like the prostaglandins, thromboxanes, prostacyclins and leukotrienes. The whole "lot" of these compounds go by the general label of eicosanoids simply because they are all 20-carbon molecules; eikoisi is Greek for "twenty". Arachidonate is “stored” as an esterified fatty acid in membranes. When released by the action of lipases, metabolites of arachidonate are used to mediate various biological processes such as pain perception and blood pressure, to name two. Aspirin’s analgesia is due largely to the fact that aspirin inhibits the enzyme cyclooygenase and transiently blocks the formation of metabolites of arachidonic acid that mediate inflammation. There's more that can be said about the metabolites of arachidonate, but it would take a lot of time and space to cover all of them so I'll just stop here. If you can get ahold of a college-level biochemistry textbook you can find out more than you probably want to know--but that may be more than you want to get into at the moment. Worth a stab, though, if you've got the time or the inclination.
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