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In
biochemistry Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of es within and relating to living s. A sub-discipline of both and , biochemistry may be divided into three fields: , and . Over the last decades of the 20th century, biochemistry has beco ...

biochemistry
, a metabolite is an intermediate or end product of
metabolism Metabolism (, from el, μεταβολή ''metabolē'', "change") is the set of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as Cell signaling, signaling and self-sustaining ...

metabolism
. The term ''metabolite'' is usually used for
small moleculeWithin the fields of molecular biology Molecular biology is the branch of biology that seeks to understand the molecule, molecular basis of biological activity in and between Cell (biology), cells, including biomolecule, molecular synthesis, modi ...
s. Metabolites have various functions, including fuel, structure, signaling, stimulatory and inhibitory effects on
enzyme Enzymes () are protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and from one location to another. Proteins diff ...

enzyme
s, catalytic activity of their own (usually as a cofactor to an enzyme), defense, and interactions with other organisms (e.g.
pigments A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast, dyes are typically soluble, at least at some stage in their use. Generally dyes are often organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compou ...
,
odorant An aroma compound, also known as an odorant, aroma, fragrance or flavor, is a chemical compound that has a smell or odor. For an individual chemical or class of chemical compounds to impart a smell or fragrance, it must be sufficiently Volatili ...
s, and
pheromone A pheromone (from Ancient Greek ' "to bear" and hormone) is a secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species. Pheromones are chemicals capable of acting like hormones outside the body of the s ...

pheromone
s). A
primary metabolite A primary metabolite is a kind of metabolite In biochemistry Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. A sub-discipline of both chemistry and biology, biochemistry may be ...
is directly involved in normal "growth", development, and reproduction.
Ethylene Ethylene (IUPAC The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC ) is an international federation of National Adhering Organizations that represents chemists in individual countries. It is a member of the International Science C ...

Ethylene
exemplifies a primary metabolite produced large-scale by
industrial microbiologyIndustrial microbiology is a branch of biotechnology that applies microbial sciences to create industrial products in mass quantities, often using Microbial cell factory, microbial cell factories. There are multiple ways to manipulate a microorganism ...
. A
secondary metabolite Secondary metabolites, also called specialised s, s, secondary products, or s, are s produced by , , or which are not directly involved in the normal , , or of the organism. Instead, they generally mediate ecological , which may produce a sel ...
is not directly involved in those processes, but usually has an important
ecological Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biology ...
function. Examples include
antibiotics An antibiotic is a type of antimicrobial An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system t ...
and
pigment A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast, dyes are typically soluble, at least at some stage in their use. Generally dyes are often organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compou ...
s such as resins and terpenes etc. Some antibiotics use primary metabolites as precursors, such as
actinomycin Dactinomycin, also known as actinomycin D, is a chemotherapy medication used to treat a number of types of cancer Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or Metastasis, spread to other part ...

actinomycin
, which is created from the primary metabolite
tryptophan Tryptophan (symbol Trp or W) is an α-amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. Tryptophan contains an α-amino group, an α-carboxylic acid group, and a side chain indole, making it a non-polar Aromatic hydrocarbon, aromatic amino ...

tryptophan
. Some sugars are metabolites, such as fructose or glucose, which are both present in the metabolic pathways. Examples of primary metabolites produced by industrial microbiology include: The
metabolome 400px, General schema showing the relationships of the genome, transcriptome, proteome">transcriptome.html" ;"title="genome, transcriptome">genome, transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome (lipidome). The metabolome refers to the complete set of Sm ...
forms a large network of metabolic reactions, where outputs from one
enzymatic Enzymes () are protein Proteins are large biomolecules and macromolecules that comprise one or more long chains of amino acid residue (biochemistry), residues. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including Enzyme ...
chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and t ...

chemical reaction
are inputs to other chemical reactions. Metabolites from
chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element held together by chemical bonds. A homonuclear molecule, m ...
s, whether inherent or
pharmaceutical A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug used to medical diagnosis, diagnose, cure, therapy, treat, or preventive medicine, prevent disease. Drug therapy (pharmacotherapy) ...
, form as part of the natural biochemical process of degrading and eliminating the compounds. The rate of degradation of a compound is an important determinant of the duration and intensity of its action. Understanding how pharmaceutical compounds are
metabolized Metabolism (, from el, μεταβολή ''metabolē'', "change") is the set of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, ...
and the potential
side effects In medicine, a side effect is an effect, whether therapeutic or adverse, that is secondary to the one intended; although the term is predominantly employed to describe adverse effects, it can also apply to beneficial, but unintended, consequences ...
of their metabolites is an important part of
drug discovery In the fields of medicine, biotechnology Biotechnology is a broad area of biology, involving the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products. Depending on the tools and applications, it often overlaps with related scientif ...
.


See also

*
Antimetabolite An antimetabolite is a chemical that inhibits the use of a metabolite, which is another chemical that is part of normal metabolism Metabolism (, from el, μεταβολή ''metabolē'', "change") is the set of life Life is a char ...
*
Intermediary metabolism Metabolism (, from el, μεταβολή ''metabolē'', "change") is the set of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling and self-sustaining processes, ...
, also called intermediate metabolism *
Metabolic control analysisMetabolic control analysis (MCA) is a mathematical framework for describing Metabolic pathway, metabolic, Cell signaling#Signaling pathways, signaling, and genetic pathways. MCA quantifies how variables, such as fluxes and Chemical species, species c ...
*
Metabolomics Metabolomics is the scientific study of chemical processes involving metabolites, the small molecule substrates, intermediates and products of cell metabolism. Specifically, metabolomics is the "systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprint ...
, the study of global metabolite profiles in a system (cell, tissue, or organism) under a given set of conditions *
Metabolic pathway In biochemistry, a metabolic pathway is a linked series of chemical reactions occurring within a cell (biology), cell. The reactants, products, and intermediates of an enzymatic reaction are known as metabolites, which are modified by a sequence ...
*
Volatile Organic Compounds Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are organic chemicals , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen chemical bond, bonds. Due to carbon's abilit ...

Volatile Organic Compounds


References


External links

*{{Commons category-inline, Metabolites Metabolism