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The Krebs Cycle, rapped to the tune of Macklemore's "Thrift Shop"

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As longtime fans of both Macklemore and metabolism pathways (weird combo, we know, but whatever), we're pretty damn excited about this "Thrift Shop" parody by Wilson Lam. You should be, too, especially if you're studying bioenergetics.

"One of the awesome things about the [intermediary metabolism] course at [The University of Ottawa] is that a song contest is held where the students are challenged to write a song about the TCA (Kreb's) Cycle," writes Lam, a biochemistry undergrad at uOttawa. "I decided to also add a little glycolysis in here as well, just because I figured that it worked well."


Anyone who's grappled with memorizing the various enzymes, intermediates and transformations of the citric acid cycle will appreciate how useful songs like this can be, especially when they're set to tunes as wickedly infectious as "Thrift Shop." Bravo, Wilson — I wish I'd had this video at my disposal when I was an undergrad.

Here are the lyrics:

I'm gonna pop some carbs
Only got a lil' glucose in my pathway
I - I - I'm lazy, lookin' for some CoA
This is frigging awesome

[Verse 1]
Now I got some glucose; hell yeah, I'm in that prep phase
I'm so pumped; doin' work with hexokinase
Glucose to the glucose with a number six phosphate
PGI to that fructose 6-phosphate (dayum)
ATP, ADP, phosphofructokinase E,
1,6-bis, FBP, adolase, two GAP;
GAPDH with some PGK & PGM,
3-P to the 2-Phosphoglycerate, and then
PEP to Pyruvate! (glycolysis)

[Verse 2]
FAD, NAD bout to go and grab some hydroG
Pumpin' out all those substrates for some work yeah that's that energy
shuttlin' through that mito-C like nobody's business
what you know about oxidation? biz-NITCH
I'mma do it TCA, I'mma do it TCA
No for real - movin' on - can I have some A-CoA? (thank-you)
Citrate synthase from that CoA to that citrate
Aconitase, step two; isocitrate
I had some NAD+ (plus), I used some NAD+ (plus)
I made some NADH (Hhhhhhhh), and alpha-ketogluterate (oh snap)
dehydrogenase complex, plus some CoA
CO2, NADH out; succinyl CoA
then I take that GDP, add a P (GTP), hold on wait
CoAs gone, people be like "Aw, he got the succinate"

[Hook x2]

[Verse 3]
What you know about intermediary metabolism? (not much)
What you knowin' about what's goin' on in your skin? (uhhhhh)
I'm diggin, I'm diggin, I'm lookin' for some FAD
Step 6, succinate dehydrogenase, that's the key (zing)
Movin' on, reducin' that FAD up to FADH2
fumarate, fumarase that's the enzyme now go shift your gaze
to malate (okay); step 8, malate dehydrogenase
finish off; NADH, oxaloacetate (ahhhhh)

[Hook x2]

[Bridge x2]
That's how Kreb's cycle goes
If you didn't doze now you know
This is how TCA flows
BCH actually doesn't blow