Catabolism vs. Anabolism

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Catabolism and Anabolism is that the set of metabolic pathways that breaks down molecules into smaller units; metabolism is usually divided into two categories: catabolism (the breaking down of organic matter) and anabolism and Anabolism is a set of metabolic pathways that construct molecules from smaller units.

  • Catabolism

    Catabolism () is the set of metabolic pathways that breaks down molecules into smaller units that are either oxidized to release energy or used in other anabolic reactions. Catabolism breaks down large molecules (such as polysaccharides, lipids, nucleic acids and proteins) into smaller units (such as monosaccharides, fatty acids, nucleotides, and amino acids, respectively). Catabolism is the breaking-down aspect of metabolism, whereas anabolism is the building-up aspect.

    Cells use the monomers released from breaking down polymers to either construct new polymer molecules, or degrade the monomers further to simple waste products, releasing energy. Cellular wastes include lactic acid, acetic acid, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and urea. The creation of these wastes is usually an oxidation process involving a release of chemical free energy, some of which is lost as heat, but the rest of which is used to drive the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This molecule acts as a way for the cell to transfer the energy released by catabolism to the energy-requiring reactions that make up anabolism. (Catabolism is seen as destructive metabolism and anabolism as constructive metabolism). Catabolism therefore provides the chemical energy necessary for the maintenance and growth of cells. Examples of catabolic processes include glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, the breakdown of muscle protein in order to use amino acids as substrates for gluconeogenesis, the breakdown of fat in adipose tissue to fatty acids, and oxidative deamination of neurotransmitters by monoamine oxidase.

  • Anabolism

    Anabolism () is the set of metabolic pathways that construct molecules from smaller units. These reactions require energy, known also as an endergonic process. Anabolism is the building-up aspect of metabolism, whereas catabolism is the breaking-down aspect. Anabolism is usually synonymous with biosynthesis.

  • Catabolism (noun)

    Destructive metabolism, usually including the release of energy and breakdown of materials.

  • Anabolism (noun)

    The constructive metabolism of the body, as distinguished from catabolism.

  • Catabolism (noun)

    the breakdown of complex molecules in living organisms to form simpler ones, together with the release of energy; destructive metabolism.

  • Anabolism (noun)

    the synthesis of complex molecules in living organisms from simpler ones together with the storage of energy; constructive metabolism.

Oxford Dictionary

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