Gluconobacter oxydans is an industrially important bacterium that lacks a complete Embden-Meyerhof pathway (glycolysis). The organism instead uses the pentose phosphate pathway to oxidize sugars and their phosphorylated intermediates. However, the lack of glycolysis limits the amount of NADH as electron donor for electron transport phosphorylation. It has been suggested that the pentose phosphate pathway contributes to NADH production. Six enzymes predicted to play central roles in intracellular glucose and gluconate flux were heterologously overproduced in Escherichia coli and characterized to investigate the intracellular flow of glucose and gluconates into the pentose phosphate pathway and to explore the contribution of the pentose phosphate pathway to NADH generation. The key pentose phosphate enzymes glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (Gox0145) and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (Gox1705) had dual cofactor specificities but were physiologically NADP- and NAD-dependent, respectively. Putative glucose dehydrogenase (Gox2015) was NADP-dependent and exhibited a preference for mannose over glucose, whereas a 2-ketogluconate reductase (Gox0417) displayed dual cofactor specificity for NAD(P)H. Furthermore, a putative gluconokinase and a putative glucokinase were identified. The gluconokinase displayed high activities with gluconate and is thought to shuttle intracellular gluconate into the pentose phosphate pathway. A model for the trafficking of glucose and gluconates into the pentose phosphate pathway and its role in NADH generation is presented. The role of NADPH in chemiosmotic energy conservation is also discussed.