HMP shunt (pentose phosphate pathway)
- Provides a source of NADPH from abundantly available glucose-6-P (NADPH is required for reductive reactions, eg, glutathione reduction inside RBCs, fatty acid and cholesterol biosynthesis).
- Additionally, this pathway yields ribose for nucleotide synthesis. Two distinct phases (oxidative and nonoxidative), both of which occur in the cytoplasm.
- No ATP is used or produced.
- Sites: lactating mammary glands, liver, adrenal cortex (sites of fatty acid or steroid synthesis), RBCs.