• metabolism
  • All the chemical reactions that take place in a living organism, comprising both anabolism and catabolism. Basal metabolism is the energy exchange of an animal at rest. Catabolism is the synthesis of complex molecules from simpler ones. Catabolism is the breaking down by organisms of complex molecules into simpler ones with the liberation of energy.
Abstract from DBPedia
    Metabolism (/məˈtæbəlɪzəm/, from Greek: μεταβολή metabolē, "change") is the set of life-sustaining chemical reactions in organisms. The three main purposes of metabolism are: the conversion of the energy in food to energy available to run cellular processes; the conversion of food to building blocks for proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and some carbohydrates; and the elimination of metabolic wastes. These enzyme-catalyzed reactions allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. The word metabolism can also refer to the sum of all chemical reactions that occur in living organisms, including digestion and the transportation of substances into and between different cells, in which case the above described set of reactions within the cells is called intermediary (or intermediate) metabolism. Metabolic reactions may be categorized as catabolic – the breaking down of compounds (for example, of glucose to pyruvate by cellular respiration); or anabolic – the building up (synthesis) of compounds (such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids). Usually, catabolism releases energy, and anabolism consumes energy. The chemical reactions of metabolism are organized into metabolic pathways, in which one chemical is transformed through a series of steps into another chemical, each step being facilitated by a specific enzyme. Enzymes are crucial to metabolism because they allow organisms to drive desirable reactions that require energy and will not occur by themselves, by coupling them to spontaneous reactions that release energy. Enzymes act as catalysts – they allow a reaction to proceed more rapidly – and they also allow the regulation of the rate of a metabolic reaction, for example in response to changes in the cell's environment or to signals from other cells. The metabolic system of a particular organism determines which substances it will find nutritious and which poisonous. For example, some prokaryotes use hydrogen sulfide as a nutrient, yet this gas is poisonous to animals. The basal metabolic rate of an organism is the measure of the amount of energy consumed by all of these chemical reactions. A striking feature of metabolism is the similarity of the basic metabolic pathways among vastly different species. For example, the set of carboxylic acids that are best known as the intermediates in the citric acid cycle are present in all known organisms, being found in species as diverse as the unicellular bacterium Escherichia coli and huge multicellular organisms like elephants. These similarities in metabolic pathways are likely due to their early appearance in evolutionary history, and their retention is likely due to their efficacy. In various diseases, such as type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cancer, normal metabolism is disrupted. The metabolism of cancer cells is also different from the metabolism of normal cells, and these differences can be used to find targets for therapeutic intervention in cancer.

    代謝(たいしゃ、英語: metabolism)とは、生命の維持のために有機体が行う、外界から取り入れた無機物や有機化合物を素材として行う一連の合成や化学反応のことであり、新陳代謝の略称である。これらの経路によって有機体はその成長と生殖を可能にし、その体系を維持している。代謝は大きく異化 (catabolism) と同化 (anabolism) の2つに区分される。異化は物質を分解することによってエネルギーを得る過程であり、例えば細胞呼吸がある。同化はエネルギーを使って物質を合成する過程であり、例えばタンパク質・核酸・多糖・脂質の合成がある。 代謝の化学反応は代謝経路によって体系づけられ、1つの化学物質は他の化学物質から酵素によって変換される。酵素は触媒として、熱力学的に不利な反応を有利に進めるため極めて重要な存在である。また、酵素は、細胞の環境もしくは他の細胞からの信号(シグナル伝達)の変化に反応することにより代謝経路の調節も行う。 有機体の代謝はその物質の栄養価の高さがどれだけか、また、毒性の高さがどれだけかを決定する。例えば、いくつかの原核生物は硫化水素を使って栄養を得ているが、この気体は動物にとっては毒であることが知られている。また、代謝速度はその有機体がどれだけの食物を必要としているかに影響を与える。