By the end of this section, you will be able to:
- Explain the role of enzyme-catalyzed reactions in cellular metabolism.
Virtually every task performed by living organisms requires energy. Energy is the ability to perform work or to create change. It is needed to perform heavy labor and exercise, but humans also use energy while thinking, and even during sleep. In fact, the living cells of every organism constantly use energy. Nutrients and other molecules are imported into the cell have many different potential paths: metabolized (broken down) and used for energy, synthesized into new molecules, modified if needed, transported around the cell, and even distributed to the entire organism. For example, the large proteins that make up muscles are built from smaller molecules imported from dietary amino acids. Complex carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars that the cell uses for energy. Just as energy is required to both build and demolish a building, energy is required for the synthesis and breakdown of molecules as well as the transport of molecules into and out of cells. In addition, processes such as ingesting and breaking down pathogenic bacteria and viruses, exporting wastes and toxins, and movement of the cell require energy.
Text adapted from: OpenStax, Concepts of Biology. OpenStax CNX. May 18, 2016 http://firstname.lastname@example.org