• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What is the importance of Metabolic Pathways?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Lucy Lynn-Evans What is the importance of Metabolic Pathways? The chemical reactions that occur within organisms are collectively known as a metabolism. There are two subcategories of metabolism; anabolism, the building up of complex organic molecules from simpler precursors and the other is catabolism, the breakdown of complex substances into simpler molecules, often accompanied by the release of energy. The metabolism is organised by metabolic pathways. This is the transformation of one molecule into another, and then into another and another in sequence. A metabolic pathway is controlled by negative feedback which is extremely efficient as when enough of the product is made, the product inhibits the enzyme which causes the first transformation to occur, thus the pathway slows down or stops completely and the amount of product decreases. ...read more.

Middle

Each transformation within the pathway is catalysed by a specific enzyme, for example insulin converts glucose to glycogen, and each enzyme is a point of control of the overall pathway. There are multiple metabolic pathways occurring in the body all the time. One of the most important is that of respiration. Respiration is the production of free energy in all living cells, more specifically cellular respiration is a complex metabolic pathway divided into three stages: glycolisis, the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. This is a vital pathway as all movements and reactions that take place in living organisms require energy (ATP which is produced here). When we eat all our food must be digested and broken down; there are a number of pathways that enable this to happen. ...read more.

Conclusion

The stress of the very low glucose levels stimulates the adrenal cortex to release the hormone cortisol, which is responsible for the protein breakdown. In the end, when the fat storage is depleted, the body has no choice but to break down protein at a much higher rate to provide energy. Carbon dioxide is usually thought of as an end product of carbohydrate, protein, and fat deprivation in aerobic organisms. Metabolic pathways are vital to living beings. They enable many efficient reactions to occur and allow for the quick breakdown or synthesising of many important molecules the body needs. Without complex path ways the metabolism would be in chaos as equilibrium would be frequently reached and very little product would be produced. Exercise, food, and environmental temperature influence metabolism. Basal metabolism is the caloric expenditure of an organism at rest; it represents the minimum amount of energy required to maintain life at normal body temperature. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Energy, Respiration & the Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Energy, Respiration & the Environment essays

  1. Investigate the effect of bile salt concentration on the digestion of milk by the ...

    same and also irrelevant as the milk in all the trials will have the same pH and volume. Concentration of lipase solution 7 The lipase 3% solution given was more of an emulsion and had different solubility which could affect the rate of reaction and so affect the results.

  2. the effect of bile concentration on the activity of the enzyme lipase during the ...

    Using the beaker with distilled water pour the distilled water into the volumetric flask until the solution in the flask reaches the graduation mark 6. Put a stopper on the volumetric flask and shake thoroughly for several seconds 7. Label this volumetric flask 1% bile salts solution Method For the

  1. Why the Body Needs Energy? Every living cell within the ...

    Reference: Class notes handout http://www.gcsesciencedoubleaward.co.uk/c3.htm Website viewed on 24 / 5 / 08 Diaphragm * The diaphragm is a large muscle. * It is positioned between the chest and abdomen and separates from each other The Structure of the Diaphragm * The diaphragm is made of central sheets of tendon

  2. The Pancreas is a large gland that forms part of the Endocrine System, but ...

    the stomach and provide the correct pH in the small intestine (pH 5.0- 6.0). People that have pancreatitis sometimes do not secrete enough HCO-3. This means that the pH in the small intestine can become to acidic (pH 4.0 or lower).

  1. out how different concentrations of the enzyme pectinase affect the degradation of the substrate ...

    Diagram of a Plant Cell Wall: Model Of Pectin Network In Plant Cell Wall: Commercial Uses Of Pectinase: * Clarification of juices/wines. * Aiding the disintegration of fruit pulps. * By reducing the large pectin molecules into smaller units, and eventually into galacturonic acid (compound become water soluble)

  2. The Importance of Being The Right Size.

    (Therefore 2000cm for King-Kong). Volume Mass in grams Mass in kilograms Normal Gorilla 8000000 cm�, 8000000 g 8000 kg King-Kong 8000000000 cm� 8000000000 g 8000000 kg The volume and mass increases 1000 times, therefore the mass of King-Kong will be 8000t.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work