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Introduction To Metabolism Notes

Pharmacology Notes > BIOL10212 Biochemistry Notes

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vBiochemistry - Lecture 14 (15/03/2018)

Introduction to Metabolism

Metabolism: Entire network of chemical reactions carried out by living cells.
Metabolites: Small molecules that are intermediate in the biosynthesis or degradation of biopolymers.

Classes of Metabolic Pathways:
Catabolic Reactions (Catabolism):
 Complex molecules broken down to release energy stored in chemical bonds

2) Anabolic


Complex molecules made from simpler ones to store energy in chemical bonds.

Multistep Pathways (Instead of Single Step Combustion):

This releases energy in smaller units, so it can be used by cells.
Each individual reaction requires one enzyme.
Similar in all organisms.
This occurs inside specific organelles in eukaryotic cells.
This is regulated by key enzymes that can be inhibited or activated

Characteristics of Metabolic Pathways:
 Highly regulated

This allows the response to environmental changes.
This avoids futile cycles (unless necessary).

 Irreversible

They are often irreversible, yet some internal reactions are reversible.

 Flow of material (flux)

This depends on: The supply of substrates, the removal of products and the pathway enzyme activities (i.e. Rates of reactions).

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