Alanine cycle

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The alanine cycle is quite similar to the Cori cycle. When muscles produce lactate during times of decreased oxygen, they also produce alanine. This alanine is shuttled to the liver where it is used to make glucose. This process is less productive than the Cori Cycle, which uses lactate, since a byproduct of energy production from alanine is production of urea. Removal of the urea is energy-dependent, thus the net ATP produced is less than that found in the Cori Cycle.

Alanine cycle also serves other purposes:

  • 1. Recycles carbon skeletons between muscle and liver
  • 2. Transports NH4+ to the liver and is converted to urea.

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