Dictionary > Metabolite

Metabolite

Definition
noun, plural: metabolites
A substance that is a product of metabolic action or that is involved in a metabolic process
Supplement
A metabolite refers to any substance involved in metabolism. It is often regarded as the immediate by-product of a metabolic process. However, some references consider those involved in a metabolic reaction (not necessarily a by-product) as a metabolite.
Metabolites are biomolecules that are relatively smaller in size than the large biomolecules (e.g. proteins and nucleic acids). They are naturally occurring. However, they can be produced artificially for industrial and pharmaceutical uses. The metabolites can be grouped into two major types: primary and secondary. Primary metabolites are those that are directly involved in the growth, development, and reproduction of an organism whereas secondary metabolites are those that are not. Thus, primary metabolites are critical to the survival and the fecundity of an organism. Secondary metabolites may not be as crucial but the lack or insufficiency could lead to the impairment of the organism.
Examples of primary metabolites are ethanol, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, 5′ guanylic acid, acetic acid, lactic acid, glycerol, etc. Examples of secondary metabolites are pigments, resins, terpenes, ergot, alkaloids, antibiotics, naphthalenes, nucleosides, quinolones, peptides, growth hormones, etc.
Synonym(s):

  • metabolin

See also:

  • metabolism


    You will also like...

    The process of photosynthesis
    Photosynthesis – Photolysis and Carbon Fixation

    Photosynthesis is the process that plants undertake to create organic materials from carbon dioxide and water, with the ..

    Bryophytes
    Bryophytes

    Bryophytes (nonvascular plants) are a plant group characterized by lacking vascular tissues. They include the mosses, th..

    Biological Cell schematic diagram
    Biological Cell Introduction

    It only takes one biological cell to create an organism. A single cell is able to keep itself functional through its 'mi..

    Biological Cell Defense
    Biological Cell Defense

    Organisms employ different strategies to boost its defenses against antigens. Humans have an immune system to combat pat..

    takahē
    Takahē (Porphyrio hochstetteri)

    Meet the colorful takahē, an extremely rare flightless bird. Find out more about its unique features and why they matte..

    Stem
    Stems

    Stems primarily provide plants structural support. This tutorial includes lectures on the external form of a woody twig ..