What is the metabolic pool?

1 Answer
Feb 13, 2018

Metabolic pool refers to the reservoir of molecules upon which enzymes can operate.


The concept of metabolic pools is important to cellular biology. Metabolic pools consist of metabolites that are products of/and or the substrates for key reactions in cells, allowing one type of molecule to be changed into another type such as carbohydrates converted into fats.

Within a cell (or an organelle like chloroplast) there exists a reservoir of molecules upon which an enzyme can operate. The size of the reservoir is referred to as its metabolic pool.

For example glycolysis and the Kreb's cycle are open systems. An open system has a two way flow of materials into and out of it:
a) various compounds enter the pathways at different points. Thus carbohydrates, fats, and proteins can all be oxidised.
b) at the same time, some of the intermediate of these pathways can be withdrawn. They are used in synthesis reactions.
Thus, the products of glycolysis and the Kreb's cycle form a metabolic pool. The materials can be added or withdrawn from this pool according to the need of the body.