Glycogen Breakdown and Protein Synthesis

Topics: Glycogen, Glucose, Metabolism Pages: 1 (343 words) Published: March 13, 2013
Glycogen is a polymer/polysaccharide that serves as a form of energy storage in animals and fungi and is a primary carbohydrate storage form in animals. Glycogen in humans is made and stored primarily in the cells of the liver and the muscles which functions as the secondary long-term energy. Glycogen is often referred to as animal starch because it is the complement of starch in plants for they have a similar structure to amylopectin but more extensively branched and compact than starch. Glycogen plays an important role in the glucose cycle. It forms an energy reserve that can be quickly mobilized to meet a sudden need for glucose, but this is less compact. Muscle glycogen is converted into glucose by muscle cells. On the other hand, liver glycogen converts to glucose for use throughout the body.

The liver is essential for monitoring and maintaining a relatively constant level of glucose in the bloodstream, hence the liver is involved in glycogen breakdown and synthesis because these pathways allow the liver to remove glucose from the bloodstream for glycogen synthesis when blood glucose is high and to release glucose into the bloodstream from glycogen breakdown when blood glucose levels are too low.

Glycogen provides an additional source of glucose besides that produced through gluconeogenesis which helps to fuel our body that helps us carry out activities more efficiently. Glycogen in this sense, acts like a battery backup for the body which provides a quick source of glucose when needed and providing a place for storage of excess glucose.

Since glycogen is broken down from the "ends" of the molecule, more branches translate to more ends, and more glucose that can be released at once. Now, this may lead to numerous advantages in animals such as energy is not released from fat as fast as from glycogen, glycolysis provides a mechanism of anaerobic metabolism which is important in muscle cells that cannot get oxygen as fast as needed, and glycogen...
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