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Vocabulary words from the AP Edition of Campbell Biology, Chapter 8.


totality of an organism's chemical reactions

metabolic pathway

series of chemical reactions that either builds a complex molecule or breaks down a complex molecule into simpler molecules

catabolic pathways

metabolic pathways which release energy by breaking down complex molecules to simpler compounds

anabolic pathways

metabolic pathways which consume energy to build complicated molecules from simpler ones


the study of how energy flows through living organisms


the capacity to cause change

kinetic energy

the energy associated with the relative motion of objects


kinetic energy associated with the random movement of atoms or molecules

potential energy

energy that is not kinetic

chemical energy

potential energy available for release in a chemical reaction


the study of the energy transformations that occur in a collection of matter

first law of thermodynamics

energy can be transferred and transformed, but not created or destroyed

second law of thermodynamics

every energy transfer or transformation increases the entropy of the universe

free energy

the portion of a system's energy that can perform work when temperature and pressure are uniform throughout the system

spontaneous change

free energy decreases, stability increases, and the released free energy can be harnessed for work

exergonic reaction

reaction which results in a net release of free energy

endergonic reaction

reaction which absorbs free energy from its surroundings

energy coupling

the use of an exergonic process to drive an endergonic one


refers to a molecule that has been the recipient of a phosphate group


a macromolecule acting as a catalyst


a chemical agent that speeds up a reaction without being consumed by the reaction

activation energy

the energy required to contort the reactant molecules so the bonds can break


the reactant an enzyme acts on

enzyme-substrate complex

formed when the enzyme binds to its substrate

active site

a restricted region of the enzyme molecule that actually binds to the substrate

induced fit

brings chemical groups of the active site into positions that enhance their ability to catalyze the chemical reaction


nonprotein helpers, adjuncts, for catalytic activity


a cofactor which is organic

competitive inhibitors

reduce the productivity of enzymes by blocking substrates from entering active sites

noncompetitive inhibitors

impede enzymatic reactions by binding to another part of the enzyme

allosteric regulation

any case in which a protein's function at one site is affected by the binding of a regulatory molecule to a separate site


amplifies the response of enzymes to substrates

feedback inhibition

a metabolic pathway is switched off by the inhibitory binding of its end product to an enzyme that acts early in the pathway

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