Reverse Krebs cycle

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The reductive TCA cycle. Dotted lines denote alternative enzymes pathways.

The reverse Krebs cycle (also known as the reverse tricarboxylic acid cycle, the reverse TCA cycle, or the reverse citric acid cycle) is a sequence of chemical reactions that are used by some bacteria to produce carbon compounds from carbon dioxide and water.

The reaction is the citric acid cycle run in reverse: Where the Krebs cycle takes complex carbon molecules in the form of sugars and oxidizes them to CO2 and water, the reverse cycle takes CO2 and water to make carbon compounds. This process is used by some bacteria to synthesise carbon compounds, sometimes using hydrogen, sulfide, or thiosulfate as electron donors.[1][2] In this process, it can be seen as an alternative to the fixation of inorganic carbon in the reductive pentose phosphate cycle which occurs in a wide variety of microbes and higher organisms.

The reaction is a possible candidate for prebiotic early-earth conditions and, so, is of interest in the research of the origin of life. It has been found that some of the steps can be catalysed by minerals.[3]

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  1. ^ Evans MC; Buchanan BB; Arnon DI (April 1966). "A new ferredoxin-dependent carbon reduction cycle in a photosynthetic bacterium.". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 55 (4): 928–34. doi:10.1073/pnas.55.4.928. PMC 224252. PMID 5219700. 
  2. ^ Buchanan BB; Arnon DI. (1990). "A reverse KREBS cycle in photosynthesis: consensus at last.". Photosynth Res 24: 47–53. doi:10.1007/BF00032643. PMID 11540925. 
  3. ^ Xiang V. Zhang; Scot T. Martin (December 2006). "Driving Parts of Krebs Cycle in Reverse through Mineral Photochemistry". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128 (50): 16032–16033. doi:10.1021/ja066103k. PMID 17165745. 

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