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    Metabolic pathway

    Metabolic pathway

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    Chemistry of life

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    In biochemistry, a metabolic pathway is a linked series of chemical reactions occurring within a cell. The reactants, products, and intermediates of an enzymatic reaction are known as metabolites, which are modified by a sequence of chemical reactions catalyzed by enzymes.[1]: 26  In most cases of a metabolic pathway, the product of one enzyme acts as the substrate for the next. However, side products are considered waste and removed from the cell.[2] These enzymes often require dietary minerals, vitamins, and other cofactors to function.

    Different metabolic pathways function based on the position within a eukaryotic cell and the significance of the pathway in the given compartment of the cell.[3] For instance, the, electron transport chain, and oxidative phosphorylation all take place in the mitochondrial membrane.[4]: 73, 74 & 109  In contrast, glycolysis, pentose phosphate pathway, and fatty acid biosynthesis all occur in the cytosol of a cell.[5]: 441–442

    There are two types of metabolic pathways that are characterized by their ability to either synthesize molecules with the utilization of energy (anabolic pathway), or break down complex molecules and release energy in the process (catabolic pathway).[6] The two pathways complement each other in that the energy released from one is used up by the other. The degradative process of a catabolic pathway provides the energy required to conduct the biosynthesis of an anabolic pathway.[6] In addition to the two distinct metabolic pathways is the amphibolic pathway, which can be either catabolic or anabolic based on the need for or the availability of energy.[7]

    Pathways are required for the maintenance of homeostasis within an organism and the flux of metabolites through a pathway is regulated depending on the needs of the cell and the availability of the substrate. The end product of a pathway may be used immediately, initiate another metabolic pathway or be stored for later use. The metabolism of a cell consists of an elaborate network of interconnected pathways that enable the synthesis and breakdown of molecules (anabolism and catabolism).


    1 Overview

    2 Major metabolic pathways

    2.1 Catabolic pathway (catabolism)

    2.1.1 Cellular respiration

    2.2 Anabolic pathway (anabolism)

    2.3 Amphibolic pathway

    3 Regulation

    4 Clinical Applications in Targeting Metabolic Pathways

    4.1 Targeting Oxidative Phosphorylation

    4.2 Targeting Heme

    4.3 Targeting the Tricarboxylic acid cycle and Glutaminolysis

    5 See also 6 References 7 External links


    Net reactions of common metabolic pathways

    Each metabolic pathway consists of a series of biochemical reactions that are connected by their intermediates: the products of one reaction are the substrates for subsequent reactions, and so on. Metabolic pathways are often considered to flow in one direction. Although all chemical reactions are technically reversible, conditions in the cell are often such that it is thermodynamically more favorable for flux to proceed in one direction of a reaction.[8] For example, one pathway may be responsible for the synthesis of a particular amino acid, but the breakdown of that amino acid may occur via a separate and distinct pathway. One example of an exception to this "rule" is the metabolism of glucose. Glycolysis results in the breakdown of glucose, but several reactions in the glycolysis pathway are reversible and participate in the re-synthesis of glucose (gluconeogenesis).

    Glycolysis was the first metabolic pathway discovered:

    As glucose enters a cell, it is immediately phosphorylated by ATP to glucose 6-phosphate in the irreversible first step.

    In times of excess lipid or protein energy sources, certain reactions in the glycolysis pathway may run in reverse to produce glucose 6-phosphate, which is then used for storage as glycogen or starch.

    Metabolic pathways are often regulated by feedback inhibition.

    Some metabolic pathways flow in a 'cycle' wherein each component of the cycle is a substrate for the subsequent reaction in the cycle, such as in the Krebs Cycle (see below).

    Anabolic and catabolic pathways in eukaryotes often occur independently of each other, separated either physically by compartmentalization within organelles or separated biochemically by the requirement of different enzymes and co-factors.

    Major metabolic pathways[edit]

    For additional infographics of major metabolic pathways, see § External links.

    Sugar acids Double/multiple sugars & glycans Simple sugars Inositol-P Amino sugars & sialic acids Nucleotide sugars Hexose-P Triose-P Glycerol P-glycerates Pentose-P Tetrose-P Propionyl -CoA Succinate Acetyl -CoA Pentose-P P-glycerates Glyoxylate

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    6.1C: Metabolic Pathways

    6.1C: Metabolic Pathways

    Last updated Mar 6, 2021

    6.1B: Types of Energy

    6.1D: Metabolism of Carbohydrates

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    An anabolic pathway requires energy and builds molecules while a catabolic pathway produces energy and breaks down molecules.

    Learning Objectives

    Describe the two major types of metabolic pathways

    Key Points

    A metabolic pathway is a series of chemical reactions in a cell that build and breakdown molecules for cellular processes.

    Anabolic pathways synthesize molecules and require energy.

    Catabolic pathways break down molecules and produce energy.

    Because almost all metabolic reactions take place non-spontaneously, proteins called enzymes help facilitate those chemical reactions.

    Key Terms

    catabolism: destructive metabolism, usually including the release of energy and breakdown of materialsenzyme: a globular protein that catalyses a biological chemical reactionanabolism: the constructive metabolism of the body, as distinguished from catabolism

    Metabolic Pathways

    The processes of making and breaking down carbohydrate molecules illustrate two types of metabolic pathways. A metabolic pathway is a step-by-step series of interconnected biochemical reactions that convert a substrate molecule or molecules through a series of metabolic intermediates, eventually yielding a final product or products. For example, one metabolic pathway for carbohydrates breaks large molecules down into glucose. Another metabolic pathway might build glucose into large carbohydrate molecules for storage. The first of these processes requires energy and is referred to as anabolic. The second process produces energy and is referred to as catabolic. Consequently, metabolism is composed of these two opposite pathways:

    Anabolism (building molecules)

    Catabolism (breaking down molecules)

    Figure 6.1C.1 6.1C.1

    : Anabolic and catabolic pathways: Anabolic pathways are those that require energy to synthesize larger molecules. Catabolic pathways are those that generate energy by breaking down larger molecules. Both types of pathways are required for maintaining the cell’s energy balance.

    Anabolic Pathways

    Anabolic pathways require an input of energy to synthesize complex molecules from simpler ones. One example of an anabolic pathway is the synthesis of sugar from CO2. Other examples include the synthesis of large proteins from amino acid building blocks and the synthesis of new DNA strands from nucleic acid building blocks. These processes are critical to the life of the cell, take place constantly, and demand energy provided by ATP and other high-energy molecules like NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and NADPH.

    Catabolic Pathways

    Catabolic pathways involve the degradation of complex molecules into simpler ones, releasing the chemical energy stored in the bonds of those molecules. Some catabolic pathways can capture that energy to produce ATP, the molecule used to power all cellular processes. Other energy-storing molecules, such as lipids, are also broken down through similar catabolic reactions to release energy and make ATP.

    Importance of Enzymes

    Chemical reactions in metabolic pathways rarely take place spontaneously. Each reaction step is facilitated, or catalyzed, by a protein called an enzyme. Enzymes are important for catalyzing all types of biological reactions: those that require energy as well as those that release energy.

    Source : bio.libretexts.org

    Overview of metabolism (article)

    Overview of metabolic pathways, energy flow in a cell, and anabolism and catabolism.

    Cellular energy

    Overview of metabolism

    Overview of metabolic pathways, energy flow in a cell, and anabolism and catabolism.

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    What’s going on in your body right now? Your first answer might be that you’re hungry, or that your muscles are sore from a run, or that you feel tired. But let’s go even deeper, moving past the layer of your consciousness and looking at what’s going in your cells.

    If you could peek inside of any cell in your body, you’d find that it was a remarkable hub of activity, more like a busy open-air market than a quiet room. Whether you are awake or sleeping, running or watching TV, energy is being transformed inside your cells, changing forms as molecules undergo the connected chemical reactions that keep you alive and functional.

    Overview of metabolism

    Cells are constantly carrying out thousands of chemical reactions needed to keep the cell, and your body as a whole, alive and healthy. These chemical reactions are often linked together in chains, or pathways. All of the chemical reactions that take place inside of a cell are collectively called the cell’s metabolism.

    To get a sense of the complexity of metabolism, let's take a look at the metabolic diagram below. To me, this mess of lines looks like a map of a very large subway system, or possibly a fancy circuit board. In fact, it's a diagram of the core metabolic pathways in a eukaryotic cell, such as the cells that make up the human body. Each line is a reaction, and each circle is a reactant or product.

    Abstract diagram representing core eukaryotic metabolic networks. The main point of the diagram is to indicate that metabolism is complex and highly interconnected, with many different pathways that feed into one another.

    Image credit: "Metabolism diagram," by Zlir'a (public domain).

    In the metabolic web of the cell, some of the chemical reactions release energy and can happen spontaneously (without energy input). However, others need added energy in order to take place. Just as you must continually eat food to replace what your body uses, so cells need a continual inflow of energy to power their energy-requiring chemical reactions. In fact, the food you eat is the source of the energy used by your cells!

    To make the idea of metabolism more concrete, let's look at two metabolic processes that are crucial to life on earth: those that build sugars, and those that break them down.

    Breaking down glucose: Cellular respiration

    As an example of an energy-releasing pathway, let’s see how one of your cells might break down a sugar molecule (say, from that candy you had for dessert).

    Many cells, including most of the cells in your body, get energy from glucose (

    \text C_6\text H_{12}\text O_6

    C 6 ​ H 12 ​ O 6 ​

    start text, C, end text, start subscript, 6, end subscript, start text, H, end text, start subscript, 12, end subscript, start text, O, end text, start subscript, 6, end subscript

    ) in a process called cellular respiration. During this process, a glucose molecule is broken down gradually, in many small steps. However, the process has an overall reaction of:

    \text C_6\text H_{12}\text O_6

    C 6 ​ H 12 ​ O 6 ​

    start text, C, end text, start subscript, 6, end subscript, start text, H, end text, start subscript, 12, end subscript, start text, O, end text, start subscript, 6, end subscript

    + 6\text O_2 6O 2 ​

    6, start text, O, end text, start subscript, 2, end subscript

    → → → 6 \text {CO}_2 6CO 2 ​

    6, start text, C, O, end text, start subscript, 2, end subscript

    + 6 \text H_2\text O 6H 2 ​ O

    6, start text, H, end text, start subscript, 2, end subscript, start text, O, end text

    + \text {energy} energy

    start text, e, n, e, r, g, y, end text

    Breaking down glucose releases energy, which is captured by the cell in the form of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. ATP is a small molecule that gives cells a convenient way to briefly store energy.

    Once it's made, ATP can be used by other reactions in the cell as an energy source. Much as we humans use money because it’s easier than bartering each time we need something, so the cell uses ATP to have a standardized way to transfer energy. Because of this, ATP is sometimes described as the “energy currency” of the cell.

    Building up glucose: Photosynthesis

    As an example of an energy-requiring metabolic pathway, let's flip that last example around and see how a sugar molecule is built.

    Sugars like glucose are made by plants in a process called photosynthesis. In photosynthesis, plants use the energy of sunlight to convert carbon dioxide gas into sugar molecules. Photosynthesis takes place in many small steps, but its overall reaction is just the cellular respiration reaction flipped backwards:

    6 \text {CO}_2 6CO 2 ​

    6, start text, C, O, end text, start subscript, 2, end subscript

    + 6 \text H_2\text O

    Source : www.khanacademy.org

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