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Metabolic pathway

From Academic Kids

In biochemistry, a metabolic pathway is a series of chemical reactions occurring within a cell, catalyzed by enzymes, to achieve in either the formation of a metabolic product to be used or stored by the cell, or the initiation of another metabolic pathway (then called a flux generating step). Many of these pathways are elaborate, and involve a step by step modification of the initial substance to shape it into the product with the exact chemical structure desired.

Contents

Overview

Most metabolic pathways have these common properties:

  • They are irreversible, usually because the first step is a committed step, such breakdown for the release of energy, that only runs in one direction.
  • The pathways are regulated, usually by feedback inhibition, or may be a cycle where the end product starts the reaction again, such as the Krebs Cycle (see below).
  • Anabolic and catabolic pathways in eukaryotes are separated by either compartmentation or by the use of different enzymes and cofactors.

Major metabolic pathways

Cellular respiration

Main article: Cellular respiration

Several distinct but linked metabolic pathways are used by cells to transfer the energy released by breakdown of fuel molecules to ATP:

  1. Glycolysis
  2. Anaerobic respiration
  3. Krebs cycle / Citric acid cycle
  4. Oxidative phosphorylation

Other pathways

See also

External links

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