News tagged with cell metabolism

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

Researchers examine metabolism in defective cells

University of Alberta researchers are taking a closer look at how two metabolic pathways interact to increase the lifespan of cells with mitochondrial defects. Magnus Friis is the lead author of the study, which was published ...

Apr 11, 2014
popularity 5 / 5 (1) | comments 1

Breast cancer gene protects against obesity, diabetes

(Medical Xpress)—The gene known to be associated with breast cancer susceptibility, BRCA 1, plays a critical role in the normal metabolic function of skeletal muscle, according to a new study led by University ...

Mar 12, 2014
popularity not rated yet | comments 0

Kidney cancer reveals its weak link

A team of researchers at Chalmers University of Technology has found that kidney cancer cells have a quite different metabolism than other types of malignancies. The findings pave the way for new methods ...

Feb 18, 2014
popularity 5 / 5 (5) | comments 0

Couch potato? It could be genetic

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists in China and Aberdeen have made a key discovery which could explain why some people are 'couch potatoes'.

Feb 14, 2014
popularity 4 / 5 (4) | comments 0

New control target for cancer metabolism: Acetylation

(Medical Xpress)—Cancer cells are not interested in sustainability. They gobble up sugar inefficiently, brushing aside their mitochondria, the efficient miniature power plants that supply energy to healthy ...

Feb 06, 2014
popularity 5 / 5 (4) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Imaging the brain's energy usage

A team of researchers led by Kai-Hsiang Chuang of the A*STAR Singapore Bioimaging Consortium has developed a new imaging technique to measure the rate at which the brain consumes glucose, without using radioactively ...

Jan 22, 2014
popularity 5 / 5 (1) | comments 0

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