Cellular Metabolism at a Glance

  • Inês Mesquita
  • Fernando Rodrigues
Part of the Experientia Supplementum book series (EXS, volume 109)


Metabolism is highly coordinated component of the cellular activity that involves sequential chemical transformations, within a so-called metabolic network. Through these coordinated actions, living organisms acquire energy and biosynthetic precursors to maintain cellular homeostasis and function. Metabolism relies on the breaking down of macromolecules to produce energy [catabolism] and/or intermediary metabolites that are then used to construct essential building blocks for macromolecule production [anabolism]. Overall, these metabolic processes are controlled by cellular energy status: when the energy released from catabolic processes exceeds the cellular demands the storage of metabolites in the form of lipids and glycogen takes place. These phenomena have been vastly associated with the genesis of metabolic disorders, such as obesity. In recent years, we have assisted to a rediscovery of metabolism through the identification of metabolic intermediaries that act as key players on differentiation, proliferation, and function of immune cells. This recent acknowledgement of the impact of metabolism in the overall immune response originated the ground-breaking field of immunometabolism. Here, we will provide a holistic view of metabolism highlighting the biochemical principles underlying its regulation.


Metabolic networks Biosynthetic precursors Energy Homeostasis Metabolic nodes Regulation Immunometabolism 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Medicine, University of MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.ICVS/3B’s-PT Government Associate LaboratoryBraga/GuimarãesPortugal

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