Metabolites are the intermediates and products of
metabolism. The term ''metabolite'' is usually restricted to small
A primary metabolite is directly involved in
normal growth, development, and reproduction. Alcohol is an example of
a primary metabolite produced in large-scale by industrial
A secondary metabolite is not directly involved in those processes,
but usually has an important ecological function. Examples include
antibiotics and pigments.
Some antibiotics use primary metabolites as precursors, such as
actinomycin which is created from the primary metabolite, tryptophan.
Examples of primary metabolites produced by industrial
||Glutamic Acid, Aspartic acid
||5' guanylic acid
||Acetic Acid, Lactic Acid
The metabolome forms a large network of metabolic reactions, where
outputs from one enzymatic chemical reaction are inputs to other
Metabolites from chemical compounds, whether inherent or
pharmaceutical, are formed as part of the natural biochemical process
of degrading and eliminating the compounds.
The rate of degradation of a compound is an important determinant of
the duration and intensity of its action.
Profiling metabolites of pharmaceutical compounds, drug metabolism,
is an important part of drug discovery, leading to an understanding of
any undesirable side effects.
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Last Updated: Feb 1, 2011