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gy, Cell Functions
Figure 5: An ATP molecule
ATP consists of an adenosine base (blue), a ribose sugar (pink) and a phosphate chain. The high-energy phosphate bond in this phosphate chain is the key to ATP’s energy storage potential.
The particular energy pathway that a cell employs depends in large part on whether that cell is a eukaryote or a prokaryote. Eukaryotic cells use three major processes to transform the energy held in the chemical bonds of food molecules into more readily usable forms — often energy-rich carrier molecules. Adenosine 5′-triphosphate, or ATP, is the most abundant energy carrier molecule in cells. This molecule is made of a
nitrogen base (adenine), a ribose sugar, and three phosphate groups. The word adenosine
refers to the adenine plus the ribose sugar. The bond between the second and
third phosphates is a high-energy bond (Figure 5).
The first process in the eukaryotic energy pathway is glycolysis, which literally means “sugar splitting.” During glycolysis, single molecules of glucose are split and ultimately converted into two molecules of a substance called pyruvate; because each glucose contains six carbon atoms, each resulting pyruvate contains just three carbons. Glycolysis is actually a series of ten chemical reactions that requires the input of two ATP molecules. This input is used to generate four new ATP molecules, which means that glycolysis results in a net gain of two ATPs. Two NADH molecules are also produced; these molecules serve as electron carriers for other biochemical reactions in the cell.
Glycolysis is an ancient, major ATP-producing pathway that occurs in almost all cells, eukaryotes and prokaryotes alike. This process, which is also known as fermentation, takes place in the cytoplasm and does not require oxygen. However, the fate of the pyruvate produced during glycolysis depends upon whether oxygen is present. In the absence of oxygen, the pyruvate cannot be completely oxidized to carbon dioxide, so various intermediate products result. For example, when oxygen levels are low, skeletal muscle cells rely on glycolysis to meet their intense energy requirements. This reliance on glycolysis results in the buildup of an intermediate known as lactic acid, which can cause a person’s muscles to feel as if they are “on fire.” Similarly, yeast, which is a single-celled eukaryote, produces alcohol (instead of carbon dioxide) in oxygen-deficient settings.
In contrast, when oxygen is available, the pyruvates produced by glycolysis become the input for the next portion of the eukaryotic energy pathway. During this stage, each pyruvate molecule in the cytoplasm enters the mitochondrion, where it is converted into acetyl CoA, a two-carbon energy carrier, and its third carbon combines with oxygen and is released as carbon dioxide. At the same time, an NADH carrier is also generated. Acetyl CoA then enters a pathway called the citric acid cycle, which is the second major energy process used by cells. The eight-step citric acid cycle generates three more NADH molecules and two other carrier molecules: FADH2 and GTP (Figure 6, middle).
Figure 6: Metabolism in a eukaryotic cell: Glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation
Glycolysis takes place in the cytoplasm. Within the mitochondrion, the citric acid cycle occurs in the mitochondrial matrix, and oxidative metabolism occurs at the internal folded mitochondrial membranes (cristae).
The third major process in the eukaryotic energy pathway involves an electron transport chain, catalyzed by several protein complexes located in the mitochondrional inner membrane. This process, called oxidative phosphorylation, transfers electrons from NADH and FADH2 through the membrane protein complexes, and ultimately to oxygen, where they combine to form water. As electrons travel through the protein complexes in the chain, a gradient of hydrogen ions, or protons, forms across the mitochondrial membrane. Cells harness the energy of this proton gradient to create three additional ATP molecules for every electron that travels along the chain. Overall, the combination of the citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation yields much more energy than fermentation – 15 times as much energy per glucose molecule! Together, these processes that occur inside the mitochondion, the citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation, are referred to as respiration, a term used for processes that couple the uptake of oxygen and the production of carbon dioxide (Figure 6).
The electron transport chain in the mitochondrial membrane is not the only one that generates energy in living cells. In plant and other photosynthetic cells, chloroplasts also have an electron transport chain that harvests solar energy. Even though they do not contain mithcondria or chloroplatss, prokaryotes have other kinds of energy-yielding electron transport chains within their plasma membranes that also generate energy.
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Frequently Asked Questions About from what source do cells get their food
If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic from what source do cells get their food, then this section may help you solve it.
What is the origin of cells’ food?
Because a large portion of the energy required to form complex organic food molecules, such as sugars, fats, and proteins, is literally stored within the chemical bonds that hold them together, these molecules are rich sources of energy for cells.
Does oxygen provide food for cells?
The heart, blood, and blood vessels all work together to supply the body’s cells with the nutrients they need to function. Using the system of arteries, veins, and capillaries, blood transports carbon dioxide to the lungs (for exhalation) and picks up oxygen.
Do cells in the body eat?
In order to generate and maintain the biological order that keeps them alive, cells need a constant supply of energy, which is derived from the chemical bond energy in food molecules, which thus act as fuel for cells.
How are foods used by cells?
The energy in food is transformed into energy that the body’s cells can use through the process of cellular respiration, which occurs when glucose and oxygen are changed into carbon dioxide and water, and the energy is transferred to ATP.
What constitutes the primary cell source?
Abstract: Currently, glucose serves as the primary energy source in cells.
What fuels human cell growth?
While protein and healthy fats support our cellular walls or membranes, vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals called phytonutrients help to protect and repair our cells from damage. These nutrients, which include protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, nourish us on a cellular level.
What mechanism nourishes and oxygenates the cells?
The circulatory system is made up of blood vessels that transport blood away from and back towards the heart. Arteries transport blood away from the heart, and veins transport blood back to the heart. The circulatory system delivers waste products, such as carbon dioxide, to cells while also transporting oxygen, nutrients, and hormones.
How are your cells nourished?
Nourish the soul: We can energize our soul by paying attention to our hunger cues to determine what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. Nourish the cells: We can fuel our cells by eating wholesome, nutritious, and delicious foods that provide us with an abundance of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Does blood provide nutrients to cells?
Vitamins, minerals, sugars, fats, and proteins are just a few of the nutrients that the blood transports throughout the body. Digested nutrients are absorbed into the blood through capillaries in the small intestine, and they are then transported to the cells throughout the body where they are required.
How do cells obtain food and get rid of waste?
In a process known as autophagy (meaning “self-eating”), the lysosome takes in old cellular components and unneeded large molecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids, and sugars, and digests them with the aid of enzymes and acids, as most high school students learn.
What kind of food do cells require to survive?
Numerous substances are required by cells to survive, including glucose, minerals, and oxygen.
How digest solid food for cells?
Its best example is an amoeba, which obtains its food by endocytosis. The cell takes the solid food by the virtue of flexibility of the cell membrane, which is known as endocytosis. If the cell is eating then it is known as phagocytosis, and if it is drinking it is known as potocytosis.
How does food energy get into cells and get stored?
Your body uses cellular respiration to extract energy from the bonds of glucose and other food molecules, which can then be stored in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Glucose is the form of energy that is carried in your blood and taken up by each of your trillions of cells.
In what way do cells eat themselves?
Our cells maintain their youth through a process called autophagy, in which they continually digest themselves to regenerate small portions of themselves, preventing the buildup of potentially harmful deposits.
What transforms energy into fuel for cells?
The organelles known as mitochondria, which function like a digestive system, take in nutrients, break them down, and produce energy-rich molecules for the cell, are referred to as the “powerhouses” of the cell.