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Cell Metabolism Essay

959 words - 4 pages


• Collective total of chemical processes that occur within living cells to accomplish the activities of life
• Follow physical and chemical laws

Energy and the Laws of Thermodynamics

• Energy is the capacity to do work
– Kinetic energy: energy of motion
• Examples: light energy (movement of photons), electricity (movement of charged particles), thermal or heat energy (random movement of atoms or molecules)
– Potential energy: stored energy
• Example: chemical energy (potential energy stored in chemical bonds)
• Energy can be transformed from one state to another
• Much of the work done by ...view middle of the document...

Is life on Earth as we know it today possible without enzymes?

Energy Carrier Molecules
• Cells control energy flow by coupling reactions, so that the energy released by exergonic reactions is used to drive endergonic reactions
• Energy transfer is the role of energy carrier molecules
– Energy carriers work like rechargeable batteries, picking up energy at an exergonic reaction, moving to another location in the cell, and releasing the energy to drive an endergonic reaction

Energy Carrier Molecules
• ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the most common energy carrier molecule in living cells
– Composed of
• A nitrogen-containing base, adenine
• A sugar, ribose
• Three phosphate groups (triphosphate)
– Most of the free energy in ATP resides in the two phosphoanhydride bonds between the three phosphate groups
– These two bonds are called high-energy bonds because a great deal of free energy in the bonds is released when ATP is hydrolyzed to ADP and inorganic phosphate

Energy Carrier Molecules
• Energy released in the cell through metabolism is used to drive the synthesis of ATP from ADP and inorganic phosphate

• Degradative processes whereby complex macromolecules are broken down into simpler ones, with release of free...

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