Cell Question

Discussion of all aspects of cellular structure, physiology and communication.

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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:56 pm

Cell Question

Post by twilcn » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:08 pm

Hello everyone!
New poster, Nice to meet everyone!
Anyhoo, let me get straight to the point. I've been working on this report and have read 3 chapters 3 times, This is the last question, and is one of the hardest questions to understand.

Okay perhaps someone can help me finish this report.

Question is:
If a cell makes too much of a particular substance what could be/is the possible outcome? How could you tell what feedback mechanism could cause the malfunction and what could correct the problem?

I know part of the question deals with homeostasis, but I'm racking my brain, searched the web, & read all pages of the textbook 3 times. Can someone pls help me understand what I'm missing?
Thanks In Advance for any help!

Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:58 am

Re: Cell Question

Post by aptitude » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:11 am

1. An overproduction of a particular product means that the cell is allocating energy and resources to produce what is not necessary, or what might even be toxic in higher quantities, at the cost of producing other substances that may be more vital for the cell's survival.

2. Most likely this is the result of a positive feedback mechanism, because if it was negative feedback, the production of the substance would most likely cease when it reaches high concentrations (e.g. d[A]/dt = -k [A]). A positive feedback mechanism, however, requires a brake, which, in this scenario, may not have been present, thus leading to the overproduction of the substance.

3. I am not sure exactly what is meant by correcting the problem, but I believe all of the following are possible:
a) To decrease the production of the product, you can inhibit the enzyme that produces it, or turn off the gene that encodes the substance or the producing enzyme (in biotechnology this is achieved through knockout or RNA interference).
b) To decrease the activity of the product, you can use an enzyme inhibitor.
c) To increase the degradation of the product, you can tag it with ubiquitin using ubiquitin ligase.

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