- Figure 4.6 A compost pile decomposing is an exergonic process. A baby developing from a fertilized egg is an endergonic process. Tea dissolving into water is an exergonic process. A ball rolling downhill is an exergonic process.
- Figure 4.15 After cyanide poisoning, the electron transport chain can no longer pump electrons into the intermembrane space. The pH of the intermembrane space would increase, and ATP synthesis would stop.
- Figure 4.16 The illness is caused by lactic acid build-up. Lactic acid levels rise after exercise, making the symptoms worse. Milk sickness is rare today, but was common in the Midwestern United States in the early 1800s.
- Physical exercise involves both anabolic and catabolic processes. Body cells break down sugars to provide ATP to do the work necessary for exercise, such as muscle contractions. This is catabolism. Muscle cells also must repair muscle tissue damaged by exercise by building new muscle. This is anabolism.
- A spontaneous reaction is one that has a negative ∆G and thus releases energy. However, a spontaneous reaction need not occur quickly or suddenly like an instantaneous reaction. It may occur over long periods of time due to a large energy of activation, which prevents the reaction from occurring quickly.
- Most vitamins and minerals act as cofactors and coenzymes for enzyme action. Many enzymes require the binding of certain cofactors or coenzymes to be able to catalyze their reactions. Since enzymes catalyze many important reactions, it is critical to obtain sufficient vitamins and minerals from diet and supplements. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a coenzyme necessary for the action of enzymes that build collagen.
- If glycolysis evolved relatively late, it likely would not be as universal in organisms as it is. It probably evolved in very primitive organisms and persisted, with the addition of other pathways of carbohydrate metabolism that evolved later.
- The oxygen we inhale is the final electron acceptor in the electron transport chain and allows aerobic respiration to proceed, which is the most efficient pathway for harvesting energy in the form of ATP from food molecules. The carbon dioxide we breathe out is formed during the citric acid cycle when the bonds in carbon compounds are broken.
- Without oxygen, oxidative phosphorylation and the citric acid cycle stop, so ATP is no longer generated through this mechanism, which extracts the greatest amount of energy from a sugar molecule. In addition, NADH accumulates, preventing glycolysis from going forward because of an absence of NAD+. Lactic acid fermentation uses the electrons in NADH to generate lactic acid from pyruvate, which allows glycolysis to continue and thus a smaller amount of ATP can be generated by the cell.
- They are very economical. The substrates, intermediates, and products move between pathways and do so in response to finely tuned feedback inhibition loops that keep metabolism overall on an even keel. Intermediates in one pathway may occur in another, and they can move from one pathway to another fluidly in response to the needs of the cell.
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