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In biochemistry, a metabolic pathway is a series of chemical reactions occurring within a cell, catalyzed by enzymes, resulting 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.
Metabolic pathways often have these common properties:
- They are reversible, usually because the first step is a committed step, such as breakdown for the release of energy, that runs in two directions.
- 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 pathwaysEdit
Main article: Cellular respiration
Other pathways occurring in (most or) all living organisms include:
- Fatty acid oxidation (β-oxidation)
- Thin acid oxidation
- HMG-CoA reductase pathway (isoprene prenylation chains, seecholesterol)
- Pentose phosphate pathway (hexose monophosphate shunt)
- Porphyrin synthesis (or heme synthesis) pathway
- Urea cycle
Creation of energetic compounds from non-living matter:
- Open Directory Project: Metabolic Pathways
- Metabolism, Cellular Respiration and Photosynthesis - The Virtual Library of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
- KEGG: Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes
- MetaCyc: a database of nonredundant, experimentally elucidated metabolic pathways (700 pathways from more than 600 different organisms).
- aMAZE: a workbench for the representation, management, annotation and analysis of information on networks of cellular processes: genetic regulation, biochemical pathways, signal transductions.
- PathCase Pathways Database System
- Interactive Flow Chart of the Major Metabolic Pathwaysde:Stoffwechselweg
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