FIGURE 1-28 The central role of ATP in metabolism. ATP is the shared chemical intermediate linking energy-releasing to energy-requiring cell processes. Its role in the cell is analogous to that of money in an economy: it is "earned/produced" in exergonic reactions and "spent/consumed" in endergonic ones.

which invariably require the input of energy, are collectively designated anabolism. The overall network of enzyme-catalyzed pathways constitutes cellular metabolism. ATP is the major connecting link (the shared intermediate) between the catabolic and anabolic components of this network (shown schematically in Fig. 1-28). The pathways of enzyme-catalyzed reactions that act on the main constituents of cells—proteins, fats, sugars, and nucleic acids—are virtually identical in all living organisms.

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