By W.E. Gutteridge
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Additional resources for Biochemistry of Parasitic Protozoa
1 Introduction The production of energy in a usable form, usually adenosine triphosphate (A TP), is a basic requirement of all organisms. This energy is essential for maintaining the integrity of the organism, as well as for locomotion, growth and reproduction. The stages in the life cycle of parasitic protozoa that are of prime importance to man are those which live in the vertebrate hosts. Thus, it is on these stages that most work has been done. However, the ever present problem of the availability of material (chapter 3) has restricted investigations to the few developmental stages readily available in quantity; other stages have been largely ignored.
Glycogen differs in structure from the typical plant storage polysaccharide, starch, in being more highly branched and thus existing as a more compact molecule. In mammals, glycogen is especially abundant in liver and muscle and usually is deposited in the form of granules, 10--40 nm in diameter, in the cytoplasm of the cell. The synthesis and breakdown of glycogen is under hormonal control and modulated also by the cellular levels of ATP, ADP, AMP and glucose-6-phosphate. 2). These storage lipids usually occur as CATABOLISM.
When oxygen is present, as is probably the situation in vivo, the energy production increases from 5ATP/glucose, in anaerobic conditions, to 7ATP/glucose. Concomitantly more acetate, less succinate and no H 2 are produced. This is probably a consequence of the high affinity of 0 2 for the reduced carrier X, which results in cessation of H 2 production and diversion of more pyruvate into the acetate pathway. These results also show that the formation of acetate is linked to a greater energy production than is the formation of succinate.