Overview of Metabolism
Metabolism is the set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of living organisms. These enzyme-catalyzed reactions allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments. In each pathway, enzymes catalyze the conversion of substrates into structurally similar products. Metabolic processes typically transform small molecules, but also include macromolecular processes such as DNA repair and replication, and protein synthesis and degradation. Metabolism maintains the living state of the cells and the organism. Proteases are used throughout an organism for various metabolic processes. Proteases control a great variety of physiological processes that are critical for life, including the immune response, cell cycle, cell death, wound healing, food digestion, and protein and organelle recycling. Imbalances in metabolic activities have been found to be critical in a number of pathologies, such as cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.
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