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Chapter8–AnIntroductiontoMetabolism–Homework

1.Discusswhatisthedifferencebetweenan“open”systemversusa“closed”

systemandwhichonebestreflectslivingthings.

Opensystemiswherematterandenergycanbetransferedbetweenthesystemandits

surroundings.Ontheotherhand,aclosedsystem(anisolatedsystem?!)can’ttransferenergyin

suchamanner.Theformerbetterreflectslivingthingsthanthelatter,aseverythingintheworld

interactswithoneanother;acharacteristicofalllivingthingsisthattheyinteractwiththeir

environment.

2. Makeacharttocontrastasystemwithhighfreeenergyversusasystem

withlowfreeenergyforthefollowingfactors: workcapacity,equilibrium(at equilibriumorfarawayfromequilibrium),spontaneity, andstability.

 

HighFreeEnergy

LowFreeEnergy

Work

Greaterworkcapacity

Lessworkcapacity

Equillibrium

Asreactiongetsfartherfrom

Asreactiongetsclosertoequilibrium,

equilibrium,higherfreeenergy

lowerfreeenergy.

Spontaneity

ForpositiveΔG,processesarenot

FornegativeΔG,processesareableto

spontaneous.

bespontaneous

Stability

Lessstable

Morestable

3. Contrastandcompareexergonicreactionsversusendergonicreactions.

Whichreactiontypematcheswithanabolicreactions? Whichmatcheswith catabolicreactions?

Exergoniciswhenenergyisreleased.Incontrast,endergonicrequiresenergy;itabsorbs

freeenergy.MagnitudeofΔGforanexergonicreactionrepresentsthemaxamountofworka

reactioncanperform.Cataboliciswhenenergyisreleasedandanaboliciswhenenergyis

consumedtobuildcomplicatedmolecules.Logically,exergonicwouldmatchwithcatabolic

becausebothiswhenenergyisreleased.Inthattrainofthought,endergonicwouldmatchwith

anabolic,asenergyisconsumed/required.

4. Whenacellbecomesmoreordered,oneofthecharacteristicsoflife,what

musthappenintherestoftheuniverse? WhichLawofThermodynamics doesthisreflect?

Whenacellbecomesmoreordered,therateofenergytransferortransformation

decreases,andsomusttherateatwhichentropyoftheuniverseincreases;theuniversewill

becomemoreordered.ThisreflectsthesecondLawofThermodynamics;althoughitclaimsthat

entropyoftheuniversecannotdecrease,therateatwhichentropyclimbsshouldslowdownasa

cellbecomesmoreordered,meaninglessenergytransferortransformation.

5. DiscusswhyATPcanstoresomuchenergy.

ItisnotthatphosphatebondsofATPareextremelystrong;rather,itisthefactthatthe

reactants(ATPandH20)haverelativelyhigherenergycomparedtotheproductsoftheequation:

ADPandphosphates.

6. Explainhowenzymesspeedupchemicalreactions.

Toputitsimply,enzymesspeedupmetabolicreactionsbyloweringenergybarriers.

Theyarecatalysts,chemicalbeings,thatarenotconsumedyetspeedupreactions,butstill

provideenergy.Inaddition,weshouldtakenotethatproteins,DNA,andothermoleculeshave

lotsoffreeenergyandtheirbreakdownisveryhighinpotential.

7. Contrastandcomparecofactorsversuscoenzymes.

Cofactorsare“adjunct”enzymesthatrequirenon­proteinhelpersforcatalyticactivity.

Anorganicmoleculethatisacofactorwouldbeacoenzyme.Cofactorsareoftenrequiredin

catalysis.Thecofactorsofsomeenzymes,however,areinorganic.

8. Contrastandcomparecompetitiveinhibitorswithnoncompetitive

inhibitors. Whichcanbeovercomebytheadditionofmoresubstrate?

Competitiveinhibitorsreducetheproductivityofenzymesbyblockingsubstratesfrom

enteringactivesites.Thisinhibitioniswhatcanbeovercomebytheadditionofmoresubstrate.

Noncompetitiveinhibitors,unlikecompetitiveones,don’tdirectlycompetewithsubstrateto

bindtotheenzymeattheactivesite.Soactivesitewillbecomelessandlesseffectiveathelping

convertsubstratetoproduct.

9. Inthemetabolicpathway,ABCDE,discusswhateffectmoleculeEwould likelyhaveonregulatingtheenzymethatcatalyzes thereactionofAtoB?

Eistheproduct.IfthereisenoughofmoleculeEtocompleteachemicalprocess,for

example,themolecules(reactants)ABCDEwillnotbeneeded,andthereforeanexcessofE

meanslessofABCDEproduced.

10. Akeyprocessinmetabolismisthetransportofhydrogenions(H+)across

amembranetocreateaconcentrationgradient. Explainwhicharrangement ofhydrogenions(unequalconcentrationorequalconcentration)allowswork tobedone.

Itisclearthatanunequalconcentration,notanequalone,wouldbetheonlypossibility

thatworkwillbedone;theunequalconcentrationofhydrogenionswouldallowthemtoflow

acrossthemembraneandincreasenotonlyentropybutalsowork.

11. Aresearcherwishestostopanenzymereactioninacellbecausethe

productscanbecometoxic.Speculateonanapproachthattheresearcher mightusetostopthereaction. Besuretodescribehowthisapproachwould workandanyprosorconsitmighthavetotheorganism.

Anapproachthattheresearchercouldtakeistoincreaseordecreasethetemperatureof

thecell;becauseeveryenzymehasanoptimumtemperature,ifthetemperaturechanges,the

enzymewilldenatureandnotwork.Abadconsequencemaybethatthesignificantchangein

temperaturemaykilltheorganism.Apositiveconsequencewouldbethattheorganismnolonger

hastoworryaboutthetoxicproducts.

However,themostdirectandeffectiveapproachtheresearchercouldtaketostopthis

enzymereactioninacellwouldbetocutoffthepatch­­containingtheaforementionedcell­­of

thesurfaceoftheorganism(beitplantoranimal).Itwouldpreventtheenzymefromspreading

toothercells.However,apossibledownsideisthatthismethodwouldcauseacertainamountof

paintotheorganism.Apositiveconsequencewouldbethattheorganismwouldnolongerhave

tofearthetoxicproduct.