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    Metabolism consists of a series of reactions that occur within cells of living organisms to sustain life. The process of metabolism involves many interconnected cellular pathways to ultimately provide cells with the energy required to carry out their function. The importance and the evolutionary advantage of these pathways can be seen as many remain unchanged by animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria. In eukaryotes, the metabolic pathways occur within the cytosol and mitochondria of cells with the utilisation of glucose or fatty acids providing the majority of cellular energy in animals. Metabolism is organised into distinct metabolic pathways to either maximise the capture of energy or minimise its use. Metabolism can be split into a series of chemical reactions that comprise both the synthesis and degradation of complex macromolecules known as anabolism or catabolism, respectively. The basic principles of energy consumption and production are discussed, alongside the biochemical pathways that make up fundamental metabolic processes for life.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)607-647
    Number of pages41
    JournalEssays in Biochemistry
    Issue number4
    Early online date24 Aug 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2020

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution
    License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND)


    Funding Information: Ayesha Judge is funded by a PhD studentship from Coventry University with additional funding and support from the University Alliance Doctoral Training Alliance. Michael Dodd is funded by Coventry University and the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences.


    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology


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