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Showing 41 - 50 of 49833 pathways
SMPDB ID Pathway Chemical Compounds Proteins


Pw000151 View Pathway

Nicotinate and Nicotinamide Metabolism

Nicotinate (niacin) and nicotinamide - more commonly known as vitamin B3 - are precursors of the coenzymes nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+). NAD+ synthesis occurs either de novo from amino acids, or a salvage pathway from nicotinamide. Most organisms use the de novo pathway whereas the savage pathway is only typically found in mammals. The specifics of the de novo pathway varies between organisms, but most begin by forming quinolinic acid (QA) from tryptophan (Trp) in animals, or aspartic acid in some bacteria (intestinal microflora) and plants. Nicotinate-nucleotide pyrophosphorylase converts QA into nicotinic acid mononucleotide (NaMN) by transfering a phosphoribose group. Nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase then transfers an adenylate group to form nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide (NaAD). Lastly, the nicotinic acid group is amidated to form a nicotinamide group, resulting in a molecule of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). Additionally, NAD can be phosphorylated to form NADP. The salvage pathway involves recycling nicotinamide and nicotinamide-containing molecules such as nicotinamide riboside. The precursors are fed into the NAD+ biosynthetic pathwaythrough adenylation and phosphoribosylation reactions. These compounds can be found in the diet, where the mixture of nicotinic acid and nicotinamide are called vitamin B3 or niacin. These compounds are also produced within the body when the nicotinamide group is released from NAD+ in ADP-ribose transfer reactions.


Pw000052 View Pathway

Purine Metabolism

Purine is a water soluble, organic compound. Purines, including purines that have been substituted, are the most widely distributed kind of nitrogen-containing heterocycle in nature. The two most important purines are adenine and guanine. Other notable examples are hypoxanthine, xanthine, theobromine, caffeine, uric acid and isoguanine. This pathway depicts a number of processes including purine nucleotide biosynthesis, purine degradation and purine salvage. The main organ where purine nucleotides are created is the liver. This process starts as 5-phospho-α-ribosyl-1-pyrophosphate, or PRPP, and creates inosine 5’-monophosphate, or IMP. Following a series of reactions, PRPP uses compounds such as tetrahydrofolate derivatives, glycine and ATP, and IMP is produced as a result. Glutamine PRPP amidotransferase catalyzes PRPP into 5-phosphoribosylamine, or PRA. 5-phosphoribosylamine is converted to glycinamide ribotide (GAR) then to formyglycinamide ribotide (FGAR). This set of reactions is catalyzed by a trifunctional enzyme containing GAR synthetase, GAR transformylase and AIR synthetase. FGAR is converted to formylglycinamidine-ribonucleotide (FGAM) by formylglycinamide synthase. FGAM is then converted by aminoimidzaole ribotide synthase to 5-aminoimidazole ribotide (AIR) then carboxylated by aminoimidazole ribotide carboxylase to carboxyaminoimidazole ribotide (CAIR). CAIR is then converted tosuccinylaminoimidazole carboxamide ribotide (SAICAR) by succinylaminoimidazole carboxamide ribotide synthase followed by conversion to AICAR (via adenylsuccinate lyase) then to FAICAR (via aminoimidazole carboxamide ribotide transformylase). FAICAR is finally converted to inosine monophosphate (IMP) by IMP cyclohydrolase. Because of the complexity of this synthetic process, the purine ring is actually composed of atoms derived from many different molecules. The N1 atom arises from the amine group of Asp, the C2 and C8 atoms originate from formate, the N3 and N9 atoms come from the amide group of Gln, the C4, C5 and N7 atoms come from Gly and the C6 atom comes from CO2. IMP creates a fork in the road for the creation of purine, as it can either become GMP or AMP. AMP is generated from IMP via adenylsuccinate synthetase (which adds aspartate) and adenylsuccinate lyase. GMP is generated via the action of IMP dehydrogenase and GMP synthase. Purine nucleotides being catabolized creates uric acid. Beginning from AMP, the enzymes AMP deaminase and nucleotidase work in concert to generate inosine. Alternately, AMP may be dephosphorylate by nucleotidase and then adenosine deaminase (ADA) converts the free adenosine to inosine. The enzyme purine nucleotide phosphorylase (PNP) converts inosine to hypoxanthine, while xanthine oxidase converts hypoxanthine to xanthine and finally to uric acid. GMP and XMP can also be converted to uric acid via the action of nucleotidase, PNP, guanine deaminase and xanthine oxidase. Nucleotide creation stemming from the purine bases and purine nucleosides happens in steps that are called the “salvage pathways”. The free purine bases phosphoribosylated and reconverted to their respective nucleotides.


Pw000023 View Pathway

Fatty Acid Metabolism

Fatty acids constitute a large energy source for the body. The cellular membrane is also made up of fatty acids. During starvation times, fatty acids can provide energy to humans for numerous days. Fatty acid metabolism is also known as beta-oxidation. During metabolism, acetyl CoA is produced that can then enter the citric acid cycle. When ATP is needed, ATP may be generated by increasing fatty acid metabolism. Fatty acid metabolism is essentially the reverse reaction of fatty acid synthesis.


Pw000161 View Pathway

Beta Oxidation of Very Long Chain Fatty Acids

The degradation of fatty acids occurs is many ways, but for the most part in most species it occurs mainly through the beta-oxidation cycle. Take mammals for example, in this subset of species we find that beta-oxidation takes place not only in mitochondria, but in peroxisomes as well. In contrast, it tends to be the case that in plants and fungi beta-oxidation is only seen in peroxisomes. The reason the beta-oxidation cycle is found to occur in both mitochondria and peroxisomes in mammals is thought to be that extremely long chain fatty acids will in fact undergo oxidation in both locations, an initial or first oxidation in peroxisomes and second oxidation in the mitochondria. There is however a difference between the oxidation cycle which occurs in both these organelles. Namely, that the oxidation undergone in peroxisomes does not have any coupling to ATP synthesis, unlike the corresponding oxidation which occurs in the mitochondria. We find rather that electrons are passed to molecules of oxygen, which produces hydrogen peroxide. Moreover, there is an enzyme which is found only peroxisomes which ties into this process. It can turn hydrogen peroxide back into water and oxygen and is catalase. To expound further the differences between the oxidation cycle found in the peroxisomes and the mitchondria consider the following three key differences. One, in the peroxisome the beta-oxidation cycle takes as a necessary input a special enzyme called, peroxisomal carnitine acyltransferase, which is needed to move an activated acyl group from outside the peroxisome to inside it. In mitochondrial oxidation similar but different enzymes are used called carnitine acyltransferase I and II. Difference number two is that oxidation in the peroxisome commences with catalysis induced by an enzyme called acyl CoA oxidase. Also, it should be noted that another enzyme called beta-ketothiolase which aids in peroxisomal beta-oxidation has a substrate specificity which differs from that of the mitochondrial beta-ketothiolase. Turning now to how the oxidation cycle function in mitochondria, note that the mitochondrial beta-oxidation pathway is composed of four repeating reactions that take place with each fatty acid molecule. The oxidation of fatty acid chains is a process of progress through repetition. With each turn of the cycle two carbons are removed from the fatty acid chain and the energy of the chemical bonds once housed by the molecule is captured by the reduced energy carriers NADH and FADH2. Acetyl-CoA is created in this 4 step reaction beta-oxidation process and is sent to the TCA cycle. Once inside the TCA cycle, the process of oxidation continues until even the acetyl-CoA is oxidized to CO2. More NADH and FADH2 result.


Pw000024 View Pathway

Folate Metabolism

Folate, or folic acid, is a very important B-vitamin involved in cell creation and preservation, as well as the protection of DNA from mutations that can cause cancer. It is commonly found in leafy green vegetables, but is also present in many other foods such as fruit, dairy products, eggs and meat. Folate is imperative during pregnancy as a deficiency will cause neural tube defects in the offspring. Many countries around the world now fortify foods with folic acid to prevent such defects. This pathway begins in the extracellular space, where folic acid is transported into the cell through a proton-coupled folate transporter. From there, dihydrofolate reductase converts folic acid into dihydrofolic acid. Dihydrofolic acid is then created into tetrahydrofolic acid through dihydrofolate reductase. Tetrahydrofolic acid then sparks the beginning of many reactions and subpathways including purine metabolism and histidine metabolism. There are two reactions that tetrahydrofolic acid undergoes, the first being the catalyzation into tetrahydrofolyl-[glu](2) through the enzyme folylpolyglutamate synthase in the mitochondria. Then, tetrahydrofolyl-[glu](2) becomes tetrahydrofolyl-[glu](n) through folylpolyglutamate synthase. The cycle ends with tetrahydrofolyl-[glu](n) reverting to tetrahydrofolyl-[glu](2) in the lysosome through the enzyme gamma-glutamyl hydrolase. The second reaction that begins with tetrahydrofolic acid sees tetrahydrofolic acid turned into 10-formyltetrahydrofolate through c-1-tetrahydrofolate synthase. This loop is completed by cytosolic 10-formyltetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase reverting 10-formyltetrahydrofolate back to tetrahydrofolic acid. Folate is not stored in the body for very long, as it is a water soluble vitamin and is excreted through urine, so it is important to ingest it continually, as your body’s level of folate will decline after a few weeks if the vitamin is avoided.


Pw000022 View Pathway

Fatty Acid Elongation in Mitochondria

Cells typically contain large amounts of C18 and C20 fatty acids. Longer chain fatty acids are found in certain specialized tissues (myelin contains high amounts of C22 and C24 components). Even longer chain fatty acids are derived from either dietary sources or from elongation of C16-CoA or C18-CoA formed by the cytoplasmic fatty acid synthetase system. All of the fatty acids needed by the body can be synthesized from palmitate (C16:0) except the essential, polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleate and linolenate. To create longer, shorter, oxidized, reduced fatty acids, palmitic acid is subjected to enzymatic reactions by reductases, hydroxylases, elongases and mixed function oxidases. There are 3 major processes that modify palmitic acid: elongation, desaturation and hydroxylation. Elongation of fatty acids may occur at endoplasmic reticulum where fatty acid molecules of length up to C24 may be produced. Mitochondrial elongation may result in fatty acids up to C16 in length. Fatty acid elongation in mitochondria is essentially the reverse of beta-oxidation for fatty acid oxidation. In particular, both pathways make use of acetyl-CoA acyltransferase, 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase and enoyl-CoA hydratase. The final step of fatty acid elongation uses enoyl-CoA reductase (not part of the beta-oxidation pathway). The elongation takes place in the mitochondrial matrix. In liver and kidney fatty acid elongation operates best in the presence of both NADH and NADPH, whereas in heart and skeletal muscle, only NADH is required. The mitochondrial pathway is important for elongating fatty acids containing 14 or fewer carbon atoms. Short chain fatty acids (SCFA) are fatty acids with aliphatic tails of less than six carbons. Medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) are fatty acids with aliphatic tails of 6Š—–12 carbons. Long chain fatty acids (LCFA) are fatty acids with aliphatic tails longer than 12 carbons. Very Long chain fatty acids (VLCFA) are fatty acids with aliphatic tails longer than 22 carbons.


Pw000001 View Pathway

Alanine Metabolism

Alanine (L-Alanine) is an α-amino acid that is used for protein biosynthesis. Approximately 8% of human proteins have alanine in their structures. The reductive lamination of pyruvate is effected by alanine transaminase. L-Alanine can be converted to pyruvic acid by alanine aminotransferase 1 reversibly coupled with interconversion of oxoglutaric acid and L-glutamic acid. L-Alanine can also be produced by alanine-glyoxylate transaminase with coupled interconversion of glyoxylate and glycine. L-Alanine will be coupled with alanyl tRNA by alanyl-tRNA synthetase to perform protein biosynthesis. Alanine can also be used to provide energy under fasting conditions. There are two pathways that can facilitate this: (1) alanine is converted to pyruvate to synthesize glucose via the gluconeogenesis pathway in liver tissue or (2) alanine converted into pyruvate moves into the TCA cycle to be oxidized in other tissues.


Pw000005 View Pathway

Citric Acid Cycle

The citric acid cycle, which is also known as the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA cycle) or the Krebs cycle, is a connected series of enzyme-catalyzed chemical reactions of central importance to all aerobic organisms (i.e. organisms that use oxygen for cellular respiration). The citric acid cycle is named after citrate or citric acid, a tricarboxylic acid that is both consumed and regenerated through this pathway. The citric acid cycle was discovered in 1937 by Hans Adolf Krebs while he worked at the University of Sheffield in England (PMID: 16746382). Krebs received the Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1953. Krebs’ extensive work on this pathway is also why the citric acid or TCA cycle is often referred to as the Krebs cycle. Metabolically, the citric acid cycle allows the release of energy (ultimately in the form of ATP) from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins through the oxidation of acetyl-CoA. The citric acid cycle also produces CO2, the precursors for several amino acids (aspartate, asparagine, glutamine, proline) and NADH – all of which are used in other important metabolic pathways, such as amino acid synthesis and oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos). The net yield of one “turn” of the TCA cycle in terms of energy-containing compounds is one GTP, one FADH2, and three NADH molecules. The NADH molecules are used in oxidative phosphorylation to generate ATP. In eukaryotes, the citric acid cycle occurs in the mitochondrial matrix. In prokaryotes, the citric acid cycle occurs in the cytoplasm. In eukaryotes, the citric acid or TCA cycle has a total of 10 steps that are mediated by 8 different enzymes. Key to the whole cycle is the availability of acetyl-CoA. One of the primary sources of acetyl-CoA is from the breakdown of glucose (and other sugars) by glycolysis. This process generates pyruvate. Pyruvate is decarboxylated by pyruvate dehydrogenase to generate acetyl-CoA. The citric acid cycle begins with acetyl-CoA transferring its two-carbon acetyl group to the four-carbon acceptor compound (oxaloacetate) to form a six-carbon compound (citrate) through the enzyme citrate synthase. The resulting citrate is then converted to cis-aconitate and then isocitrate via the enzyme aconitase. The resulting isocitrate then combines with NAD+ to form oxalosuccinate and NADH, which is then converted into alpha-ketoglutarate (and CO2) through the action of the enzyme known as isocitrate dehydrogenase. The resulting alpha-ketoglutarate combines with NAD+ and CoA-SH to produce succinyl-CoA, NADH, and CO2. This step is mediated by the enzyme alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase. The resulting succinyl-CoA combines with GDP and organic phosphate to produce succinate, CoA-SH, and GTP. This phosphorylation reaction is performed by succinyl-CoA synthase. The resulting succinate then combines with ubiquinone to produce two compounds, fumarate and ubiquinol through the action of the enzyme succinate dehydrogenase. The resulting fumarate is then hydrated by the enzyme known as fumarase to produce malate. The resulting malate is oxidized via NAD+ to produce oxaloacetate and NADH. This oxidation reaction is performed by malate dehydrogenase. The resulting oxaloacetate can then combine with acetyl-CoA and the TCA reaction cycle begins again. Overall, in the citric acid cycle, the starting six-carbon citrate molecule loses two carboxyl groups as CO2, leading to the production of a four-carbon oxaloacetate. The two-carbon acetyl-CoA that is the “fuel” for the TCA cycle can be generated by several metabolic pathways including glucose metabolism, fatty acid oxidation, and the metabolism of amino acids. The overall reaction for the citric acid cycle is as follows: acetyl-CoA + 3 NAD+ + FAD + GDP + P + 2H2O = CoA-SH + 3NADH + FADH2 + 3H+ + GTP + 2CO2. Many molecules in the citric acid cycle serve as key precursors for other molecules needed by cells. The citrate generated via the citric acid cycle can serve as an intermediate for fatty acid synthesis; alpha-ketoglutarate can serve as a precursor for glutamate, proline, and arginine; oxaloacetate can serve as a precursor for aspartate and asparagine; succinyl-CoA can serve as a precursor for porphyrins; and acetyl-CoA can serve as a precursor fatty acids, cholesterol, vitamin D, and various steroid hormones. There are several variations to the citric acid cycle that are known. Interestingly, most of the variation lies with the step involving succinyl-CoA production or conversion. Humans and other animals have two different types of succinyl-CoA synthetases. One produces GTP from GDP, while the other produces ATP from ADP (PMID: 9765291). On the other hand, plants have a succinyl-CoA synthetase that produces ATP (ADP-forming succinyl-CoA synthetase) (Jones RC, Buchanan BB, Gruissem W. (2000). Biochemistry & molecular biology of plants (1st ed.). Rockville, Md: American Society of Plant Physiologists. ISBN 0-943088-39-9.). In certain acetate-producing bacteria, such as Acetobacter aceti, an enzyme known as succinyl-CoA:acetate CoA-transferase performs this conversion (PMID: 18502856) while in Helicobacter pylori succinyl-CoA:acetoacetate CoA-transferase is responsible for this reaction (PMID: 9325289). The citric acid cycle is regulated in a number of ways but the primary mechanism is by product inhibition. For instance, NADH inhibits pyruvate dehydrogenase, isocitrate dehydrogenase, alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, and citrate synthase. Acetyl-CoA inhibits pyruvate dehydrogenase, while succinyl-CoA inhibits alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase and citrate synthase. Additionally, ATP inhibits citrate synthase and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase. Calcium is another important regulator of the citric acid cycle. In particular, it activates pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase, which then activates pyruvate dehydrogenase. Calcium also activates isocitrate dehydrogenase and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (PMID: 171557).


Pw000150 View Pathway

Starch and Sucrose Metabolism

Amylase enzymes secreted in saliva by the parotid gland and in the small intestine play an important role in initiating starch digestion. The products of starch digestion are but not limited to maltotriose, maltose, limit dextrin, and glucose. The action of enterocytes of the small intestine microvilli further break down limit dextrins and disaccharides into monosaccharides: glucose, galactose, and fructose. Once released from starch or once ingested, sucrose can be degraded into beta-D-fructose and alpha-D-glucose via lysosomal alpha-glucosidase or sucrose-isomaltase. Beta-D-fructose can be converted to beta-D-fructose-6-phosphate by glucokinase and then to alpha-D-glucose-6-phosphate by the action of glucose phosphate isomerase. Phosphoglucomutase 1 can then act on alpha-D-glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) to generate alpha-D-glucose-1-phosphate. Alpha-D-glucose-1-phosphate (G6P) has several possible fates. It can enter into gluconeogenesis, glycolysis or the nucleotide sugar metabolism pathway. UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase 2 can convert alpha-D-glucose-1-phosphate into UDP-glucose, which can then be converted to UDP-xylose or UDP-glucuronate and, eventually to glucuronate. UDP-glucose can also serve as a precursor to the synthesis of glycogen via glycogen synthase. Glycogen is an analogue of amylopectin (“plant starch”) and acts as a secondary short-term energy storage for animal cells. It’s formed primarily in liver and muscle tissues, but is also formed at secondary sites such as the central nervous system and the stomach. In both cases it exists as free granules in the cytosol. Glycogen is a crucial element of the glucose cycle as another enzyme, glycogen phosphorylase, cleaves off glycogen from the nonreducing ends of a chain to producer glucose-1-phosphate monomers. From there, the glucose-1-phosphate monomers have three possible fates: (1) enter the glycolysis pathway as glucose-6—phosphate (G6P) to generate energy, (2) enter the pentose phosphate pathway to produce NADPH and pentose sugar, or (3) enter the gluconeogenesis pathway by being dephosphorylated into glucose in liver or kidney tissues. To initiate the process of glycogen chain-lengthening, glycogenin is required because glycogen synthase can only add to existing chains. This action is subsequently followed by the action of glycogen synthase which catalyzes the formation of polymers of UDP-glucose connected by (α1→4) glycosidic bonds to form a glycogen chain. Importantly, amylo (α1→4) to (α1→6) transglycosylase catalyzes glycogen branch formation via the transfer of 6-7 glucose residues from a nonreducing end with greater than 11 residues to the C-6 OH- group in the interior of a glycogen molecule.


Pw000162 View Pathway

Urea Cycle

Urea, also known as carbamide, is a waste product made by a large variety of living organisms and is the main component of urine. Urea is created in the liver, through a string of reactions that are called the Urea Cycle. This cycle is also called the Ornithine Cycle, as well as the Krebs-Henseleit Cycle. There are some essential compounds required for the completion of this cycle, such as arginine, citrulline and ornithine. Arginine cleaves and creates urea and ornithine, and the reactions that follow see urea residue build up on ornithine, which recreates arginine and keeps the cycle going. Ornithine is transported to the mitochondrial matrix, and once there, ornithine carbamoyltransferase uses carbamoyl phosphate to create citrulline. After this, citrulline is transported to the cytosol. Once here, citrulline and aspartate team up to create argininosuccinic acid. After this, argininosuccinate lyase creates l-arginine. L-arginine finally uses arginase-1 to create ornithine again, which will be transported to the mitochondrial matrix and restart the urea cycle once more.
Showing 41 - 50 of 49833 pathways