Beyond mitochondria, what would be the energy source of the cell?
Currently, cell biology is based on glucose as the main source of energy. Cellular bioenergetic pathways have become unnecessarily complex in their eagerness to explain that how the cell is able to generate and use energy from the oxidation of glucose, where mitochondria play an important role through oxidative phosphorylation. During a descriptive study about the three leading causes of blindness in the world, the ability of melanin to transform light energy into chemical energy through the dissociation of water molecule was unraveled. Initially, during 2 or 3 years; we tried to link together our findings with the widely accepted metabolic pathways already described in metabolic pathway databases, which have been developed to collect and organize the current knowledge on metabolism scattered across a multitude of scientific articles. However, firstly, the literature on metabolism is extensive but rarely conclusive evidence is available, and secondly, one would expect these databases to contain largely the same information, but the contrary is true. For the apparently well studied metabolic process Krebs cycle, which was described as early as 1937 and is found in nearly every biology and chemistry curriculum, there is a considerable disagreement between at least five databases. Of the nearly 7000 reactions contained jointly by these five databases, only 199 are described in the same way in all the five databases. Thus to try to integrate chemical energy from melanin with the supposedly well-known bioenergetic pathways is easier said than done; and the lack of consensus about metabolic network constitutes an insurmountable barrier. After years of unsuccessful results, we finally realized that the chemical energy released through the dissociation of water molecule by melanin represents over 90% of cell energy requirements. These findings reveal a new aspect of cell biology, as glucose and ATP have biological functions related mainly to biomass and not so much with energy. Our finding about the unexpected intrinsic property of melanin to transform photon energy into chemical energy through the dissociation of water molecule, a role performed supposedly only by chlorophyll in plants, seriously questions the sacrosanct role of glucose and thereby mitochondria as the primary source of energy and power for the cells. Human photosynthesis!