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Flashcards in Glycolysis and Energy Stores Deck (41)
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Where is glycogen mainly stored?

In muscle and in the liver


What are the 2 main energy stores in the body?

  • Fats (triacylglycerols)
  • Carbohydrate stores (glycogen)


What happens to proteins in a state of starvation?

  • The proteins are transaminated and deaminated to remove the amino acid groups. 
  • These amino groups are shuttled away to make urea in the liver. 
  • The urea is removed in the kidneys and you are left with a form of ketoacid. 
  • The carbon skeletons of these ketoacids are processed in the liver to make glucose. 
  • Ketoacids which come from proteins can be broken down by glycolysis or citric acid cycle but many are resynthesized to add to the glucose pool. 


What happens when the body is so hypoglycaemic that the brain starts to become affected?

  • Most other tissues in the body stop using glucose once blood glucose drops below ~3mmol, because the brain has a high glucose requirement for function.
  • The brain cannot use free fatty acids for energy because these cannot diffuse across the blood-brain barrier. 
  • Glucose is taken up across the blood-brain barrier.


What is needed to use fats for energy?

  • To use fats / derivatives of fats for energy you need lots of mitochondria. 
  • Mitochondria in neurons are found in the cell body. The long axons have very few mitochondria.
  • So, glucose is required for making ATP in axons and axon terminals. 


What happens during hyperglycaemia?

  • The kindey cannot retain glucose which is filtered in the kindey fluid, so the glucose is filtered out in the kidney. 
  • Once glucose concentration reaches ~10-11mmol in the blood, it saturates the reuptake mechanisms for glucose in the kidney and glucose appears in the urine. 


How are dietary carbohydrates used as a source of energy?

  • They are broken down to glucose and added to the glucose pool, then used to make glycogen.
    • Glycogen is stored mainly in muscle and in the liver. 
  • Glycogen can be broken down by glycogenolysis to form more glucose in times of starvation to maintain the level of glucose in the glucose pool. 
  • Where there is a surplus of glucose it can be used to make fats. 
    • This is lipogenesis.


What happens during lipogenesis?

Lipogenesis turns glucose into free fatty acids which can be combined with glycerol to form triacylglycerols. 



What happens to dietary fats?

  • These are broken down in the intestine to free fatty acids and glycerol. 
  • These can be recombined to form fat stores. 
    • Fat synthesis mainly takes place in the adipose tissue.
  • OR the fats and glycerols can be directly oxidised and metabolised in most tissues. 



Which nutrient pool is the most tightly controlled?

The glucose pool


What happens post-prandially to the glucose?

  • ~95+% of glucose absorbed after a meal travels to the liver in the hepatic portal system. 
    • ~35% is metabolised in the liver
    • ~65% continues on, to be distributed to other tissues


What are the 2 states of metabolism?

  • Fed (absorptive) state
    • Shortly after a meal when new nutrients are available.
  • Fasted (postabsorptive) state
    • Body needs to draw upon its fuel stores.


Describe the fed (absorptive) state of metabolism.

  • Anabolic
  • Nutrient molecules are used to provide energy stores or to provide needs of growth and maintenance of cells and tissues. 
  • But, these needs mean tht some molecules are used immediately to provide energy. 


Describe the fasted (postabsorptive) state of metabolism.

  • Catabolic
  • The body calls on the energy stores and they become depleted.


What are the key hormones involved in regulating metabolism?

How are their actions mediated?

  • Insulin
  • Glucagon
  • Adrenaline and noradrenaline
  • Actions mediated by activation of intracellular protein kinases and phosphorylation of key regulatory proteins on tyrosine, serine or threonine residues - covalent modifications alter enzyme acivites. 


What are the functions of the pancreas?

  • Most of the pancreas has an exocrine function (digestive enzymes).
  • Endocrine cells only make up about 2% of its mass.


Describe the groups of cells within the pancreas.

  • The pancreas has clusters of cells with a different structure to the other epithelial cells.
    • The centre of the clusters = mainly beta cells. 
    • Beta cells secrete insulin and amylin.
  • On the periphery are alpha cells. 
    • Alpha cells secrete glucagon. 
  • Between the beta cell clusters and the alpha cells thee are D cells. 


Describe the interaction between glucose and beta cells. 

Glucose can freely permeate the beta cells and the metabolic rate of the beta cells depends on the concentration of glucose in the cell. 


How is glucagon release regulated?

  • The main regulator of glucagon release is insulin. 
  • Before insulin can get into the general circulation it has to pass the alpha cells.
  • Alha cells have insulin receptors - the insulin binds to these alpha cell receptors and this inhibits the secretion of glucagon. 
  • So, alpha cells don't respond directly to alpha cells, but rather via insulin. 


What controls insulin secretion?

β cells are stimulated to secrete insulin by elevated blood glucose, and by the parasympathetic nervous system. 


What is the effect of insulin on metabolism?

  • Drives the fed state.
  • ​Stimulates storage of fuels and anabolism.
    1. Stimulates glycogen synthesis in liver and muscle.
    2. Stimulates uptake of glucose into muscle and adipose tissue. 
    3. Stimulates glycolysis and hence fatty acid synthesis in the liver.
    4. Stimulates formation of triglycerides in fat tissue.
    5. Stimulates protein synthesis in muscle. 


What is the effect of glucagon on metabolism.

  • α cells of the pancreas are stimulated to secrete glucagon when blood glucose falls during the fasting state. 
  • The main target is the liver where it:
    • Stimulates the release of glucose from glycogen.
    • Stimulates gluconeogenesis but inhibits glucose incorporation into glycogen.


What determines whether metabolism is in the fed or fasting state?

  • It is the balance between circulating levels of insulin and glucagon that determine whether metabolism is in the fed or fasting state. 
  • In the fed state, insulin dominates:
    • Increased glucose oxidation
    • Increased glycogen synthesis 
    • Increased fat synthesis
    • Increased protein synthesis
  • In the fasting state, glucagon dominates:
    • Increased glycogenolysis
    • Increased gluconeogenesis
    • Increased ketogenesis


What hormonal regulation occurs when blood glucose falls?

  • Adrenaline and noradrenaline (amines) are secreted by the adrenal medulla and neurones of the synmpathetic nervous system when blood glucose falls
  • Like glucagon they drive breakdown of glycogen and triglycerides. 
  • Unlike glucagon, their glycogenolytic action is mainly on muscle (producing glucose-6-P) rather than on the liver. 
  • The amines lower glucose uptale by muscle, so that fatty acids released by adipose tissue are used as fuel. 
  • The amines also increase glucagon secretion and inhibit insulin secretion.


What happens to the glucose which is stored in muscle?

  • Muscle cannot release glucose in the blood, only the liver can because the enzyme that converts the glucose-6-phosphate to glucose is absent in muscle. 
  • Once glucose is in a muscle it can only be used by that muscle - it is locked in. 


What is the normal blood glucose range, and what constitutes hyper- and hypo-glycaemia?

  • Blood glucose normally ranges between 80mg/100ml before a meal to about 120mg/100ml after a meal. 
    • Normal blood gucose = 4-8mmol/L
  • Hypoglycaemia = <3mmol/L
  • Hyperglycaemia = >11mmol/L


What regulates blood glucose levels?

  • The liver is key to regulation of blood glucose within sch narrow limits.
  • It can buffer changes because it can take up and release large amounts of glucose. 
  • Because secretion of insulin and glucagon are themselves controlled by blood glucose, and because they have opposite actions on the enzymes that promote glycogen synthesis and breakdown, their relative concentrations are key to keeping blood glucose within their narrow limits. 


What is the approximate total store of energy in the body and how long would these last in starvation?

  • Total stores = ~162000kcal
  • Therefore, fuel stores are sufficient for about 1-3 months of starvation, depending on level of physical activity. 


What results from the breakdown of fatty acids for use as energy?

  • Under conditions when other fuels are not available, breakdown of fatty acids leads to the formation of chemicals known as ketone bodies. 
  • These ketone bodies are mainly:
    • Acetoacetate
    • 3-hydroxybutyrate
    • Acetone


Why are ketone bodies made when the body uses fat to produce energy?

  • Ketone bodies are made because acetyl-CoA formed in the breakdown of fatty acids cannot enter the cirtic acid cycle since oxaloacetate becomes depleted because the liver converts it to pyruvate to produce glucose (gluconeogenesis).
  • Acetly-CoA, therefore, is converted to ketone bodies.
  • Ketone bodies smell fruity, so they can often be smelled on the breath of people who have been fasting for some time.