# Question #cfe5d

Mar 28, 2017

See below.

#### Explanation:

Anaerobic respiration occurs in muscle cells in the absence of oxygen.

When you exercise and your muscles are not getting the oxygen they need, they resort to undergoing lactic acid fermentation . This reaction generates $2 \text{NAD+}$ molecules for every 2 pyruvate molecules with the help of the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase .

This reaction is important because the $2 \text{NAD+}$ that are regenerated allows glycolysis to continue so that it may produce 2 net ATP molecules which can be used to provide the energy for the muscle cells.

Yeast cells undergo fermentation as well but the process produces a different end product, ethanol, via a 2 step process.

As you can see, $\text{pyruvate}$ will be decarboxylated to become $\text{acetaldehyde}$. Decarboxylation just means a molecule will lose a $C {O}_{2}$ group. The enzyme that helps with the process is called pyruvate decarboyxlase.

$\text{Acetaldehyde}$ is then reduced to $\text{ethanol}$ with the help of alcohol dehydrogenase.

Now a little bit of organic chemistry will help you. We know that $\text{acetaldehyde}$ is reduced to $\text{ethanol}$ because the carbonyl group disappears and an alcohol appears. Reduction cannot occur without something else being oxidized. What was oxidized? The $N A D H$ molecule from glycolysis becomes oxidized to become $N A D +$. Again, the $\text{NAD+}$ molecules regenerated will be used back up again for glycolysis, continuing the cycle.