News tagged with cell metabolism
Related topics: insulin resistance , type 2 diabetes , fat cells , obesity , diabetes
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.
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Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
Medical research May 21, 2013 | 4.6 / 5 (8) | 0 |
Gaucher disease causes debilitating and sometimes fatal neurodegeneration in early childhood. Recent studies have uncovered a link between the mutations responsible for Gaucher disease and an increased risk ...
Parkinson's & Movement disorders May 23, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Flinders University researchers are breaking new ground in a decade-long journey to pinpoint the function of two closely related proteins.
Diabetes May 20, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine will study gender differences in how the heart uses and stores fat—its main energy source—and how changes in fat metabolism play ...
Medical research May 21, 2013 | not rated yet | 0