The integration and control of metabolism

There is an obvious need to regulate metabolic pathways within individual cells, so as to ensure that catabolic and biosynthetic pathways are not attempting to operate at the same time. There is also a need to integrate and coordinate metabolism throughout the body, so as to ensure a steady provision of metabolic fuels and to control the extent to which different fuels are used by different tissues.

After reading this chapter you should be able to:

  • explain what is meant by instantaneous, fast and slow mechanisms of metabolic control;
  • describe and explain allosteric regulation of enzyme activity;
  • describe and explain the regulation of glycolysis and explain what is meant by substrate cycling and why it is important;
  • describe and explain the hormonal control of glycogen synthesis and utilization;
  • describe and explain the role of G-proteins and second messengers in signal transduction in response to fast-acting hormones and explain how there is amplification of the hormone signal;
  • describe and explain the mechanisms involved in response to slow-acting hormones and explain how there is amplification of the hormone signal;
  • describe and explain hormonal control of the fed and fasting states and hormonal control of adipose tissue and liver metabolism;
  • describe and explain the factors involved in the selection of fuels for muscle activity under different conditions;
  • describe and explain the metabolic derangements in diabetes mellitus and their biochemical basis.
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