News tagged with cell metabolism

Related topics: insulin resistance · type 2 diabetes · fat cells · obesity · diabetes

New link between obesity and diabetes found

A single overactive enzyme worsens the two core defects of diabetes—impaired insulin sensitivity and overproduction of glucose—suggesting that a drug targeting the enzyme could help correct both at once, according to ...

Nov 21, 2013
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Drug shows early promise in treating seizures

A study out today in the journal Nature Medicine suggests a potential new treatment for the seizures that often plague children with genetic metabolic disorders and individuals undergoing liver failure. The discovery hinges ...

Nov 17, 2013
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Targeting cancer's sweet tooth

Ludwig researchers have elucidated a key mechanism by which cancer cells change how they metabolize glucose to generate the energy and raw materials required to sustain runaway growth.

Oct 21, 2013
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Metabolism

Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that occur in living organisms to maintain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. Metabolism is usually divided into two categories. Catabolism breaks down organic matter, for example to harvest energy in cellular respiration. Anabolism, on the other hand, uses energy to construct components of cells such as proteins and nucleic acids.

The chemical reactions of metabolism are organized into metabolic pathways, in which one chemical is transformed into another by a sequence of enzymes. Enzymes are crucial to metabolism because they allow organisms to drive desirable but thermodynamically unfavorable reactions by coupling them to favorable ones, and because they act as catalysts to allow these reactions to proceed quickly and efficiently. Enzymes also allow the regulation of metabolic pathways in response to changes in the cell's environment or signals from other cells.

The metabolism of an organism determines which substances it will find nutritious and which it will find poisonous. For example, some prokaryotes use hydrogen sulfide as a nutrient, yet this gas is poisonous to animals. The speed of metabolism, the metabolic rate, also influences how much food an organism will require.

A striking feature of metabolism is the similarity of the basic metabolic pathways between even vastly different species. For example, the set of carboxylic acids that are best known as the intermediates in the citric acid cycle are present in all organisms, being found in species as diverse as the unicellular bacteria Escherichia coli and huge multicellular organisms like elephants. These striking similarities in metabolism are most likely the result of the high efficiency of these pathways, and of their early appearance in evolutionary history.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA

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