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All Important Things About Carbohydrate Metabolism - NEET PG Biochemistry

Feb 13, 2023


Carbohydrate metabolism is an important topic for the NEET PG exam because it is a fundamental aspect of human physiology and biochemistry. It plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of various diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. A deep understanding of the mechanisms involved in carbohydrate metabolism is essential for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of these conditions.

Additionally, the NEET PG exam is a comprehensive test that covers all aspects of medical science, and carbohydrate metabolism is a fundamental topic that is tested in biochemistry and endocrinology. Hence, a strong understanding of the topic is crucial for success in the NEET PG exam.

In this blog post, we’ll be covering important details pertaining to this topics. Read on.


Glycolysis aka EMP pathway (Embden Meyerhof pathway) has 3 irreversible steps

  1. Hexokinase
  2. PFK -1
  3. Pyruvate kinase (SLP)

Another SLP step is PG kinase step 

Inhibitor of Glycolysis include -

  • Iodoacetate → inhibits glyceraldehyde-3-P dehydrogenase
  • Arsenite → inhibits glyceraldehyde-3-P dehydrogenase 
  • Na Fluoride→ inhibits Enolase (used in blood glucose estimation) 


  • Enzyme involved - PDH complex
  • Site: Mitochondria
Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • In B1 deficiency (Beri-Beri) lactic acidosis will occur due to excess pyruvate converting into lactate in cytoplasm.
  • Link reaction is irreversible
  • Fats cannot be converted to carbohydrates as acetyl CoA can never be converted to pyruvate 

Also Read : An easy approach to controversial questions in Biochemistry


  • Site - mitochondria
  • Not activated by any hormone.
  • Vital cycle of cell (occur in any state)
  • TCA depends on
  • Energy status of cell. If energy is present, TCA will not occur & vice-versa.
  • Availability of oxaloacetate. Thus, oxaloacetate is also regarded as carrier of TCA cycle or 1st Substrate of TCA cycle. Also, it plays a catalytic role in TCA cycle.
  • Only occurs in aerobic state
  • Not occurs in anaerobic state due to feedback regulation by NADH & FADH2 which are unable to enter ETC as O2 is absent.
  • Inhibitors of TCA  
  • Malonate (3C)               Inhibit Succinate dehydrogenase
  • Arsenite             Inhibit α-ketoglutarate Dehydrogenase
  • Fluorocitrate               Competitively inhibits Aconitase
  • Fluoroacetate             Non- competitively Inhibits Aconitase 

Also Read : Important Topics in Biochemistry for AIIMS-PG by Dr. Smily Pruthi


  • Located in Inner Mitochondrial Membrane (IMM)
  • Components
  • 5 protein complexes labeled I to V 
  • 2 Mobile molecules are Coenzyme Q and Cytochrome C (Peripheral membrane protein) 

Note: Coenzyme Q is the only non-protein component of ETC

  • In ETC, oxidation & phosphorylation occur together (coupled).
  • Uncoupling means that oxidation occurs but not phosphorylation.
  • Uncouplers e.g.
  • Dinitrophenol (drug)
  • Natural/Physiological couplers
  1. Thermogenin: present in brown fat in hibernating animals & in neonates & causes non-shivering thermogenesis
  2. Thyroxine

Also Read : Biochemistry FAQs answered by Dr. Smily Pruthi

Inhibitors of ETC Complexes

IRotenone, Phenobarbitone
IIMalonate (3C)
IVCyanide, CO, H2S, Na azide 


4 Enzymes of Gluconeogenesis which are different from Glycolysis

Pyruvate carboxylase Present in mitochondriauses ATPactivated by acetyl CoA
PEPCK (Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase)Both are present is cytoplasm
Fructose -1-6- Bisphosphatase
Glucose -6- phosphatasepresent in endoplasmic reticulum (to prevent glucose-6-P breakdown to glucose)common enzyme of gluconeogenesis and GlycogenolysisPresent in liver but absent in muscles
  • Substrates of Gluconeogenesis
  • Pyruvate and Lactate
  • Glycerol and Propionic acid
  • Glycogenic amino acid
  • Both Glucogenic & Ketogenic amino acids
  • Any TCA intermediates
Carbohydrate Metabolism

Reciprocal regulation of Glycolysis & Gluconeogenesis

Carbohydrate Metabolism
Carbohydrate Metabolism


  • Stored mainly in liver & muscle and minor amount in brain
  • End-product of liver glycogenolysis is glucose.
  • Main purpose of liver glycogen is to maintain blood glucose
  • End-product of liver glycogenolysis is glucose-6-phosphate.
  • Main purpose of Muscle glycogen is to provide energy for muscle contraction.

Glycogen Synthesis

  • RLE for glycogenesis: Glycogen synthase


  • Glycogenolysis enzymes
  1. Glycogen Phosphorylase
  • RLE of glycogenolysis
  • Requires Vit B6
  • Breaks α (1-4) bond
  • Releases 90% of glucose in the form of glucose-I-PO4 
  1. Debranching enzyme
  • Breaks α (1-6) bond
  • Releases 10% of glucose in the form of D-glucose


  • Glucose 6–P (a hexose phosphate) is the starting material hence the name Hexose Monophosphate


  • Other name is Pentose Phosphate Pathway (PPP) as Pentose Phosphate i.e. Ribose 5–P is synthesized only by this pathway.
  • Occurs in cytoplasm
  • Produces NADPH in phase-I of HMP (irreversible oxidative phase)
  • Produced Ribose-5-P in phase-II of HMP (reversible Non-oxidative phase)
  • It’s an anabolic pathway thus is activated by insulin
  • RLE: Glucose-6-P dehydrogenase (G6PD)
  • Site of HMP: Liver, lactating mammary glands, adipose tissue, placenta, gonads & RBC.
  • Tissues which are never site of HMP: Skin and Non-lactating mammary glands 
Carbohydrate Metabolism

Also Read: Amino Acid Disorders - NEET PG Biochemistry

In G6PD deficiency

  • Oxidative Stress is main reason for hemolysis
  • G6PD deficiency NADPH production in RBC reduced glutathione H2O2 → cause cell

membrane lysis and hemolysis


Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Aldose reductase generally present in all cells
  • Sorbitol dehydrogenase present only in liver and testis (as fructose is main energy source for sperms)

Previous Year’s Question

Q. Amino acid linking kreb’s cycle & urea cycle?    (NEET Jan 2019)

  1. Aspartate
  2. Fumarate 
  3. Alanine
  4. Arginine

Q. All are features of gluconeogenesis except? (JIPMER Dec 2019)

  1. Gluconeogenesis is synthesis of glucose from non-carbohydrate source
  2. Mainly takes place in liver
  3. Seen in fasting state
  4. Step are simple reversal of glycolysis

Q. Glucose is stored in Glycogen form, why? (AIIMS June 2020)

  1. Compact
  2. Can be reduced from multiple branches lends
  3. Can be stored ale multiple Sites
  4. Can provide glucose an muchas needed and when needed for 1 week

Q. Complex IV in Election Transport chain is inhibited by? (FMGE Dec 2020)

  1. Cyanide 
  2. Barbiturates 
  3. Phenylnitrone 
  4. Malonate

Q. Enzymes used in gluconeogenesis are? (INICET Nov 2020)

  1. Hexokinase
  2. PEPCK
  3. Pyruvate carboxylase
  4. GLU-6 Phosphatase 
  5. Pyruvate kinase

Q. Enzyme present in both glycolysis and gluconeogenesis? (AIIMS June 2020)

  1. PFK
  2. PEP-CK
  3. Phosphoglycerate kinase 
  4. Pyruvate kinase

Q. Cytochrome C oxidase is inhibited by all EXCEPT? (INICET July 2021)

  1. Methane
  2. H2S
  3. CO
  4. Cyanide

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