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March 24, 1945


JAMA. 1945;127(12):714. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860120030011

Investigators of intermediary metabolism have shown that the apparently simple combustion of carbohydrate in the body is in reality a complex phenomenon. Much of the newer knowledge has been secured by using thin slices of living tissue as the metabolizing system. Then a still simpler scheme involved the use of purified enzymes, so that the steps of the reactions could be examined in detail. As a result the classic Embden-Meyerh-of-Parnas mechanism for the utilization of carbohydrate by tissues was evolved. In comparing the various suggested outlines, it is obvious that phosphate plays an important role in the combustion of glucose; either the esterification of the carbohydrate with phosphoric acid or the hydrolysis of such esters is involved in many of the reactions. Some of these esters possess large amounts of energy which is available in metabolism; such phosphorus linkages have been called the "high energy phosphorus bond" by Lipmann.1