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Krebs' cycle

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A complicated series of chemical reactions in living cell in most higher animals, including humans, involving the oxidative metabolism of pyruvic acid and liberation of energy. It is the main pathway of terminal oxidation in the process of which not only carbohydrates but proteins and fats are utilized.

The discovery of the citric acid cycle, which is central to nearly all metabolic reactions and the source of two-thirds of the food-derived energy in higher organisms, was of vital importance to a basic understanding of cell metabolism and molecular biology.


  • H. A. Krebs:
    Citric acid in intermediate metabolism in animal tissues.
    Enzymologia, Den Haag, 1937. The citric acid cycle.
    Biochemical Journal, London, 1940, 34: 460-463. The citric acid circle and the Szent-György cycle in pigeon breast muscle.
    Biochemical Journal, London, 1940, 34: 775-779. Harvey Lecture 44 (1949/50), 185.
  • H. A. Krebs, D. M. Greenberg:
    Chemical Pathways of Metabolism. The Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle.
    Volume I, S, 109, New York, 1954.
  • H. A. Krebs, Hans Kornberg (British biochemist):
    Energy Transformation in Living Matter. 1957.

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