Polyol Pathway (Homo sapiens)

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D-Glucose Sorbitol D-Fructose Fructose 1-phosphate Dihydroxyacetone phosphate Glyceraldehyde D-Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate SORD Fructokinase ALR2 ALDOB Glycolysis Glycolysis Name: Polyol Pathway License: CC BY 2.0 Last Modified: 2/21/2013 Organism: Homo sapiens


When glucose is unused, it is metabolized via the polyol pathway. This pathway consists of two main enzymatic steps. First, glucose is reduced to sorbitol by aldose reductase. In this step, NADPH is oxidized to NADP+. The next step is the oxidation of sorbitol to D-fructose by sorbitol dehydrogenase. Fructose can then be phosphorylated by fructokinase and subsequently be metabolized via dihydroxyacetone phosphate or glyceraldehyde to D-glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, which can be used as a substrate in the process of glycolysis. The sorbitol pathway plays a role in diabetic renal complications because aldose reductase metabolizes the excess of glucose to toxic metabolites that induce hyperfiltration and glomerular dysfunction.

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Ontology Terms



  1. Dunlop M; ''Aldose reductase and the role of the polyol pathway in diabetic nephropathy.''; Kidney Int Suppl, 2000 PubMed
  2. Brownlee M; ''Biochemistry and molecular cell biology of diabetic complications.''; Nature, 2001 PubMed
  3. Tolan DR; ''Molecular basis of hereditary fructose intolerance: mutations and polymorphisms in the human aldolase B gene.''; Hum Mutat, 1995 PubMed


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88335view 08:56, 1 August 2016FehrhartOntology Term : 'polyol pathway' added !
72132view 00:58, 25 October 2013Mkutmonadded datasource to pathway datanode
70029view 18:55, 11 July 2013AlexanderPicoFixed pathway xref
70028view 18:54, 11 July 2013AlexanderPicoModified title
68946view 10:36, 8 July 2013MaintBotUpdated to 2013 gpml schema
67602view 04:31, 26 June 2013DdiglesOntology Term : 'glucose utilization pathway' added !
59138view 15:38, 21 February 2013MaintBotUpdated Ensembl and UniProt data source
45266view 11:46, 7 October 2011KhanspersOntology Term : 'Diabetes' added !
45264view 11:46, 7 October 2011KhanspersOntology Term : 'renal disease, renal disorder pathway' added !
45260view 11:44, 7 October 2011KhanspersOntology Term : 'glucose oxidation pathway' added !
41098view 16:21, 1 March 2011MaintBotRemoved redundant pathway information and comments
38770view 16:43, 23 September 2010KhanspersAdded pathway links and changed line types
32727view 15:46, 3 September 2009MaintBotModified categories
29659view 00:35, 25 May 2009Pieter GiesbertzAdded literature reference
29654view 02:43, 24 May 2009Pieter GiesbertzModified description
29592view 05:33, 19 May 2009Pieter GiesbertzModified description
29289view 01:24, 22 April 2009Pieter GiesbertzAdded literature references
29288view 01:09, 22 April 2009Pieter GiesbertzSpecify description
29281view 00:39, 22 April 2009Pieter GiesbertzSpecify description
29132view 04:33, 6 April 2009Pieter GiesbertzSpecify description
29115view 07:54, 3 April 2009Pieter GiesbertzNew pathway

External references


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NameTypeDatabase referenceComment
ALDOBGeneProductENSG00000136872 (Ensembl)
ALR2GeneProduct231 (Entrez Gene)
D-FructoseMetaboliteHMDB00660 (HMDB)
D-GlucoseMetaboliteHMDB00122 (HMDB)
D-Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphateMetaboliteHMDB01112 (HMDB)
Dihydroxyacetone phosphateMetaboliteHMDB01473 (HMDB)
FructokinaseGeneProductENSG00000138030 (Ensembl)
Fructose 1-phosphateMetaboliteHMDB01076 (HMDB)
GlyceraldehydeMetaboliteHMDB01051 (HMDB)
GlycolysisPathwayWP534 (WikiPathways)
SORDGeneProductENSG00000140263 (Ensembl)
SorbitolMetaboliteHMDB00247 (HMDB)

Annotated Interactions

<cite>No annotated interactions</cite>