Glucose metabolism disorder

Carbohydrate metabolism denotes the various biochemical processes responsible for the formation, breakdown and interconversion of carbohydrates in living organisms.

The most important carbohydrate is glucose, a simple sugar (monosaccharide) that is metabolized by nearly all known organisms. Glucose and other carbohydrates are part of a wide variety of metabolic pathways across species: plants synthesize carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water by photosynthesis storing the absorbed energy internally, often in the form of starch or lipids. Plant components are consumed by animals and fungi, and used as fuel for cellular respiration. Oxidation of one gram of carbohydrate yields approximately 4 kcal of energy and from lipids about 9 kcal. Energy obtained from metabolism (e.g. oxidation of glucose) is usually stored temporarily within cells in the form of ATP.[1] Organisms capable of aerobic respiration metabolize glucose and oxygen to release energy with carbon dioxide and water as byproducts.

Carbohydrates can be chemically divided into complex and simple.[2] Simple carbohydrates consist of single or double sugar units (monosaccharides and disaccharides, respectively). Sucrose or table sugar (a disaccharide) is a common example of a simple carbohydrate. Complex carbohydrates contain three or more sugar units linked in a chain. They are digested by enzymes to release the simple sugars. Starch, for example, is a polymer of glucose units and is typically broken down to glucose. Simple and complex carbohydrates are digested at similar rates, so the distinction is not very useful for distinguishing nutritional quality.[2] Cellulose is also a polymer of glucose but it cannot be digested by most organisms. Some bacteria that produce enzymes for cellulose live inside the gut of some mammals such as cows, and when cows eat plants, the cellulose is broken down by the bacteria and some of it is released into the gut.

Carbohydrates are a superior short-term fuel for organisms because they are simpler to metabolize than fats or those amino acids (components of proteins) that can be used for fuel. In animals, the most important carbohydrate is glucose. The concentration of glucose in the blood is used as the main control for the central metabolic hormone, insulin. Starch, and cellulose in a few organisms (e.g., some animals (such as termites[3]) and some microorganisms (such as protists and bacteria)), both being glucose polymers, are disassembled during digestion and absorbed as glucose. Some simple carbohydrates have their own enzymatic oxidation pathways, as do only a few of the more complex carbohydrates. The disaccharide lactose, for instance, requires the enzyme lactase to be broken into its monosaccharides components; many animals lack this enzyme in adulthood.

Carbohydrates are typically stored as long polymers of glucose molecules with glycosidic bonds for structural support (e.g. chitin, cellulose) or for energy storage (e.g. glycogen, starch). However, the strong affinity of most carbohydrates for water makes storage of large quantities of carbohydrates inefficient due to the large molecular weight of the solvated water-carbohydrate complex. In most organisms, excess carbohydrates are regularly catabolised to form acetyl-CoA, which is a feed stock for the fatty acid synthesis pathway; fatty acids, triglycerides, and other lipids are commonly used for long-term energy storage. The hydrophobic character of lipids makes them a much more compact form of energy storage than hydrophilic carbohydrates. However, animals, including humans, lack the necessary enzymatic machinery and so do not synthesize glucose from lipids, though glycerol can be converted to glucose.[4]

All carbohydrates share a general formula of approximately CnH2nOn; glucose is C6H12O6. Monosaccharides may be chemically bonded together to form disaccharides such as sucrose and longer polysaccharides such as starch and cellulose.

Catabolism

Oligo/polysaccharides are typically cleaved into smaller monosaccharides by enzymes called glycoside hydrolases. The monosaccharide units then enter monosaccharide catabolism. Organisms vary in the range of monosaccharides they can absorb and use, and also in the range of more complex carbohydrates they are capable of disassembling.

Metabolic pathways

Metabolic use of glucose is highly important as an energy source for muscle cells and in the brain, and red blood cells.

Energy Production

Typically, a breakdown of one molecule of glucose by aerobic respiration (i.e. involving both glycolysis and kreb's cycle) is about 33-35 ATP.[1] This is categorized as:

  • Anaerobic breakdown by glycolysis - yielding 8-10 ATP
  • Aerobic respiration by kreb's cycle - yielding 25 ATP

Glucoregulation

Glucoregulation is the maintenance of steady levels of glucose in the body; it is part of homeostasis, and so keeps a constant internal environment around cells in the body.

The hormone insulin is the primary regulatory signal in animals, suggesting that the basic mechanism is very old and very central to animal life. When present, it causes many tissue cells to take up glucose from the circulation, causes some cells to store glucose internally in the form of glycogen, causes some cells to take in and hold lipids, and in many cases controls cellular electrolyte balances and amino acid uptake as well. Its absence turns off glucose uptake into cells, reverses electrolyte adjustments, begins glycogen breakdown and glucose release into the circulation by some cells, begins lipid release from lipid storage cells, etc. The level of circulatory glucose (known informally as "blood sugar") is the most important signal to the insulin-producing cells. Because the level of circulatory glucose is largely determined by the intake of dietary carbohydrates, diet controls major aspects of metabolism via insulin. In humans, insulin is made by beta cells in the pancreas, fat is stored in adipose tissue cells, and glycogen is both stored and released as needed by liver cells. Regardless of insulin levels, no glucose is released to the blood from internal glycogen stores from muscle cells.

The hormone glucagon, on the other hand, has an effect opposite to that of insulin, forcing the conversion of glycogen in liver cells to glucose, which is then released into the blood. Muscle cells, however, lack the ability to export glucose into the blood. The release of glucagon is precipitated by low levels of blood glucose. Other hormones, notably growth hormone, cortisol, and certain catecholamines (such as epinepherine) have glucoregulatory actions similar to glucagon.

Human diseases of carbohydrate metabolism

References

External links

  • Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
  • BBC - GCSE Bitesize - Biology | Humans | Glucoregulation
  • Sugar4Kids

de:Glucose#Biochemie
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.