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A ‘Thrift Shop’ Parody – Biochemistry Style

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A little fun for your Friday afternoon: and you may actually learn something about the Krebs cycle as well! This parody of ‘Thrift Shop’ by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis takes a very difficult topic (TCA or the Krebs Cycle) and breaks it down into a fun set of lyrics that meet the pacing of the song very well. It was created by Wilson Lam, a student of biochemistry at the University of Ottawa.


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



Carin Bondar About the Author: Carin Bondar is a biologist, writer and film-maker with a PhD in population ecology from the University of British Columbia. Find Dr. Bondar online at, on twitter @drbondar or on her facebook page: Dr. Carin Bondar – Biologist With a Twist. Follow on Twitter @drbondar.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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