The cycle by which the element carbon is exchanged between organic matter and the earth's physical environment.
An oxidative decarboxylation process that converts GLUCOSE-6-PHOSPHATE to D-ribose-5-phosphate via 6-phosphogluconate. The pentose product is used in the biosynthesis of NUCLEIC ACIDS. The generated energy is stored in the form of NADPH. This pathway is prominent in tissues which are active in the synthesis of FATTY ACIDS and STEROIDS.