What does it mean by metabolically active? Watch

coconut64
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I was doing some exam questions and one question was asking why liver has the most catalase and the evidence for it. The mark scheme mentions that liver is metabolically active. Also , there is another question asking why liver cells have large numbers of these organelles present. The answer is also because liver cells are metabolically active. What does it mean by this and what other organelles are metabolically active?? Thanks
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Jpw1097
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(Original post by coconut64)
I was doing some exam questions and one question was asking why liver has the most catalase and the evidence for it. The mark scheme mentions that liver is metabolically active. Also , there is another question asking why liver cells have large numbers of these organelles present. The answer is also because liver cells are metabolically active. What does it mean by this and what other organelles are metabolically active?? Thanks
Metabolically active means that there are a series of enzyme-catalysed reactions occurring in cells, known as metabolic pathways. Liver cells, or hepatocytes, are very metabolically active. This means that there are lots of enzyme-catalysed reactions which are occurring in these cells, such as glycolysis, Krebs cycle, the electron transport chain, deamination, and using the example of catalase, converting hydrogen peroxide into oxygen and water. I'm not really sure what you mean by other organelles being metabolically active, you wouldn't normally refer to an organelle being metabolically active, you usually say that cells are metabolically active.
An hepatocyte would be more metabolically active than, say, a nerve cell; this means there are more enzyme-catalysed reactions such as those mentioned earlier occurring in hepatocytes than nerve cells.

Hopefully this gives you some intuition on what it means to be metabolically active.
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thegodofgod
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(Original post by coconut64)
I was doing some exam questions and one question was asking why liver has the most catalase and the evidence for it. The mark scheme mentions that liver is metabolically active. Also , there is another question asking why liver cells have large numbers of these organelles present. The answer is also because liver cells are metabolically active. What does it mean by this and what other organelles are metabolically active?? Thanks
As above. A metabolically-active cell is essentially one that carries out loads of enzyme-catalysed chemical reactions. If a cell carries out loads of chemical reactions, it will really need a lot of energy (in the form of ATP). In terms of its structure-function relationship with respect to organelles, it will have loads of mitochondria: the site of the main ATP-synthesising step of aerobic respiration, oxidative phosphorylation.

Hope this helps
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