Anabolism and Catabolism


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•  Anabolism is the synthesis of complex molecules from simpler molecules including the formation of 

   macromolecules from monomers by condensation reactions

Anabolic reactions describe the set of metabolic reactions that build up complex molecules from simpler ones

The synthesis of organic molecules via anabolism typically occurs via condensation reactions

Condensation reactions occur when monomers are covalently joined and water is produced as a by-product

  • Monosaccharides are joined via glycosidic linkages to form disaccharides and polysaccharides
  • Amino acids are joined via peptide bonds to make polypeptide chains 
  • Glycerol and fatty acids are joined via an ester linkage to create triglycerides
  • Nucleotides are joined by phosphodiester bonds to form polynucleotide chains

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•  Catabolism is the breakdown of complex molecules into simpler molecules including the hydrolysis of 

   macromolecules into monomers

Catabolic reactions describe the set of metabolic reactions that break complex molecules down into simpler molecules

The breakdown of organic molecules via catabolism typically occurs via hydrolysis reactions

Hydrolysis reactions require the consumption of water molecules to break the bonds within the polymer


Comparison of Anabolic and Catabolic Pathways

anabolic vs catabolic pathways