Hypothetical defect on a enzyme in citric acid cycle


Question Description

Explain where in the Citric Acid Cycle a hypothetical defect of an enzyme could occur that would decrease the overall ATP production.

Pick a specific enzyme in the citric acid cycle and discuss what would happen if it could not do its job – focusing on atp production. If this enzyme is defective, what happens to the levels of that enzyme’s product(s)? How does this impact the cycle as a whole? Can the cycle continue or does it stop? What happens to etc and at production.

Tutor Answer

School: UCLA

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The TCA allows aerobic generation of energy in the form of GTP, ATP, and reducing equivalents (NAD+/NADH). Alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase is an enzyme within this cycle that catalyzes the conversion of alpha-ketoglutarate to succinyl CoA. During this reaction, CO2, H+, and NADH are released. A defect in this enzyme would cause a decrease in the amount of succinyl CoA, CO2, H+, and NADH. The cycle could potentially continue due to the build up of precursors but the overall rate of TCA would slow. GTP production and ATP production directly from the TCA would be reduced. Additionally, ETC-dependent ATP production would decrease due to the decreased NADH production.

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