Dictionary > Metabolic disorder

Metabolic disorder

noun, plural: metabolic disorders
A disorder in the metabolism, often caused by a dysfunctional enzyme as a result of a pathological mutation of the gene coding for it
Metabolism is a set of chemical reactions that are categorized as either catabolism or anabolism. Catabolism refers to the processes that involve a series of degradative chemical reactions. These reactions break down complex molecules into smaller units. As a result, energy is usually released in the process. In contrast, anabolism includes the various constructive metabolic processes. It involves the building up or the synthesis of complex molecules, and thereby leads to the construction of tissues and organs. There are instances though that a disorder in a particular metabolic process occurs. This disorder is referred to as metabolic disorder. It is when an atypical chemical reaction leads to the alteration of the normal metabolic process.
Metabolic disorders are typically caused by a mutation in a gene coding for a particular protein or enzyme. The mutation may impair the normal metabolic process. It could alter the structure of the protein as well as its function. It may also bring about the deficiency of a particular protein. Any of these events, in turn, could affect the metabolic process in a way that it cannot proceed as it normally should.
There are different types of metabolic disorders. Some of the major types are as follows:

  • galactosemia
  • glucose metabolism disorders
  • lysosomal storage disorders
  • mitochondrial diseases
  • metal metabolism disorders
  • peroxisomal disorders
  • phenylketonuria

See also:

  • metabolism
  • inborn errors of metabolism

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