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Learning objectives

  • Describe how lipids are catabolized
  • Describe how lipid catabolism can be used to identify microbes
  • Describe how proteins are catabolized
  • Describe how protein catabolism can be used to identify bacteria

Previous sections have discussed the catabolism of glucose, which provides energy to living cells, as well as how polysaccharides like glycogen, starch, and cellulose are degraded to glucose monomers. But microbes consume more than just carbohydrates for food. In fact, the microbial world is known for its ability to degrade a wide range of molecules, both naturally occurring and those made by human processes, for use as carbon sources. In this section, we will see that the pathways for both lipid and protein catabolism connect to those used for carbohydrate catabolism, eventually leading into glycolysis, the transition reaction, and the Krebs cycle pathways. Metabolic pathways should be considered to be porous—that is, substances enter from other pathways, and intermediates leave for other pathways. These pathways are not closed systems. Many of the substrates, intermediates, and products in a particular pathway are reactants in other pathways.

Lipid catabolism

Triglycerides are a form of long-term energy storage in animals. They are made of glycerol and three fatty acids (see [link] ). Phospholipids compose the cell and organelle membranes of all organisms except the archaea. Phospholipid structure is similar to triglycerides except that one of the fatty acids is replaced by a phosphorylated head group (see [link] ). Triglycerides and phospholipids are broken down first by releasing fatty acid chains (and/or the phosphorylated head group, in the case of phospholipids) from the three-carbon glycerol backbone. The reactions breaking down triglycerides are catalyzed by lipases and those involving phospholipids are catalyzed by phospholipases . These enzymes contribute to the virulence of certain microbes, such as the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus and the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans . These microbes use phospholipases to destroy lipids and phospholipids in host cells and then use the catabolic products for energy (see Virulence Factors of Bacterial and Viral Pathogens ).

The resulting products of lipid catabolism, glycerol and fatty acids, can be further degraded. Glycerol can be phosphorylated to glycerol-3-phosphate and easily converted to glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, which continues through glycolysis. The released fatty acids are catabolized in a process called β-oxidation , which sequentially removes two-carbon acetyl groups from the ends of fatty acid chains, reducing NAD + and FAD to produce NADH and FADH 2 , respectively, whose electrons can be used to make ATP by oxidative phosphorylation. The acetyl groups produced during β-oxidation are carried by coenzyme A to the Krebs cycle, and their movement through this cycle results in their degradation to CO 2 , producing ATP by substrate-level phosphorylation and additional NADH and FADH 2 molecules (see Appendix C for a detailed illustration of β-oxidation).

Questions & Answers

Hi, I'm new here. I'm Bello Abdul Hakeem from Nigeria.
BELLO Reply
welcome on board
Kamaluddeen
Thanks brother I'm an undergraduate. I hope to study for MBBS.
BELLO
pls guys help me out
Linda
what is limitation of plate
Linda
limitation of plate load test . there are some that should be considered while performing load test which are given below, this test is usually performed on relatively similar plate ,usually 1 or 2 square foot area the reason is that the plate of greater are the economically not feasible
yemi
Mechanism of bacterial pathogenicity
rashida Reply
Toxicity
Ibrahim
write a short note on Algea
najaatu Reply
green minutes plants organisms that are produced in turf.
Prince
Algae is a kind of a photosynthetic organism, which is usually grown in the moist areas. These are usually the simple plants that grow near to the water bodies. It contains a kind of chlorophyll pigments that act as a primary coloring agent.
Avi
they are eukaryotic and most lived in fresh water. they are photosynthetic that's, they contain chlorophyll and store starch in discrete chloroplast.
Prince
are bacteria important to man
just Reply
yes, depending on the type of bacteria .eg the normal florals, the latic acid batteries etc are important to man
Lois
I mean latic acid bacterial
Lois
I don't understand this topic
Jane Reply
what topic is that
Rose
sahi kon hai bhosri ke
saurabh Reply
define metabolism of carbohydrates with example
Thavasi Reply
what is sterilization a
Sani
the process of keep equipment free from bacteria
shar
is it only bacteria?
Lois
no undesirable fungi and contamination also.
Khushbu
what is streak plate method
Offikwu
what is the biofilm
Dimingu
metabolism is the sum of all the biochemical reaction required for energy generation and use of that energy to synthesize cell materials from small molecules in environment.
Alex
boclenia
Pooja
what are granulocytes
Shawnitta Reply
e.coli
Sukhdeep
granulocytes are type of WBCs which contains granules in the cytoplasm
Owili
suitable example for prokaryotes
Suvetha Reply
one of the possible early sources of energy was
Suvetha
uv radiation and lighting
Anisha
e coli is the example of prokaryotes
Sukhdeep
archaea too
Noel
which is the specific virus causing typhoid
Jeremiah Reply
it's caused by a virulent bacteria called Salmonella Typhi
Sarah
write the life cycle of HIV
Firomsa Reply
describe the internal and external structure of prokaryotic cell in terms of there appearance and functions
Lenia Reply
compare and contrast similar structures found in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
Lenia
control of microorganisms
ISTEFAZUL Reply
what is sterilization
Sani
how can a doctor treat a person affected by endospore forming bacteria in his/her wound?
Mambo Reply
define disinfectant
Sani
the process of killing
shar
the process of killing microorganisms
shar
a 28 years old woman come to your clinic with complain of fever painful genital blisters which express clear fluid when ruptured burning sensation around the bristers what is the diagnosis?
Ramadhani Reply
genital herpes caused by a virus called herpe simplex virus
Doris

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Source:  OpenStax, Microbiology. OpenStax CNX. Nov 01, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12087/1.4
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