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    Can starving cells depleted of ATP recover in nutrient broth

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    Imagine that a starving cell reached the stage where every bit of its ATP was depleted and converted to ADP plus phosphate. If that cell were placed in fresh nutrient broth at this point, would it recover and survive?

    Explain your answer on the basis of what you know of glucose breakdown.

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    Solution Preview

    If a cell has absolutely no ATP left and all of its adenosine phosphates are in the form of ADP and inorganic phosphate (Pi), then the cell is in serious trouble indeed. Remember glycolysis. What does a cell do in order to break down glucose? Go through the glycolytic pathway one step at a time and you will find that the cell must first "invest" two molecules of ATP in order to get the big pay out later on. In other words, the cell first uses ATP in order to ...

    Solution Summary

    I provide a sound biochemical explanation for this problem. There are two important keys to understand: the nature of glycolysis itself and the role of phosphotransferases.