Microcheck 610

Biosynthetic processes of different organisms are remarkably similar, using precursor metabolites, NADPH, and ATP to form subunits. Synthesis of the amino acid glutamate provides a mechanism for bacteria to incorporate nitrogen in the form of ammonia into organic material. Allosteric enzymes are used to regulate certain biosynthetic pathways. The purine nucleotides are synthesized in a very different manner from the pyrimidine nucleotides.

■ Explain why the synthesis of glutamate is particularly important for a cell.

■ What are three general requirements that the cell must fulfill in order to carry out biosynthesis?

■ With a branched biochemical pathway, why would it be important for a cell to shut down the first step as well as branching steps?

Summary 163

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