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Metabolites are the products of enzyme-catalyzed reactions that occur naturally within cells. The term metabolite is usually used to describe small molecules, while broader application is often practiced. Depending on the origin and function, metabolites can be divided into two major categories; namely, Primary and Secondary metabolites. BOC sciences provides high purity metabolites to help your innovative research.

Metabolites background

Primary metabolites are microbial products produced continuously during the exponential phase of growth and are involved in primary metabolic processes such as respiration and photosynthesis. They include intermediates and end-products of anabolic metabolism, which are used by the cell as building blocks for essential macromolecules (e.g. amino acids, nucleotides) or are converted to coenzymes (e.g. vitamins). Industrially, the most significant primary metabolites are amino acids, nucleotides, vitamins, solvents and organic acids. Many of these metabolites are manufactured by microbial fermentation and isolation instead of chemical synthesis because the fermentations are economically competitive and produce biologically useful isomeric forms.

Microbial secondary metabolites are compounds produced by an organism that are not required for primary metabolic processes, although they can have important ecologic and other functions. Streptomycetes and related actinomycetes continue to be prolific sources of novel secondary metabolites. Microbial secondary metabolites include antibiotics, pigments, toxins, effectors of ecological competition and symbiosis, pheromones, enzyme inhibitors, immunomodulating agents, receptor antagonists and agonists, pesticides, antitumor agents and growth promoters of animals and plants. Secondary metabolites are derived by pathways in which primary metabolites involve. Therefore, secondary metabolites are considered as the end products of primary metabolites.

In drug research, it is clearly the case that the potential for pharmacologically active metabolites must be considered. The occurrence of active metabolites among drugs is frequent, consistent with the notion that small alterations in chemical structure of a drug will not necessarily alter its biologic properties. In the research of new drug candidates, the early identification of active metabolites is of critical importance in developing optimal clinical study designs and correct data interpretation. Active metabolites may possess advantages as drugs themselves (i.e., greater potency/efficacy, superior dispositional properties, improved safety profile), and there are many examples of drugs used in clinical practice that were originally observed as metabolites of other drugs.

Biochemical Facts behind the Definition and Properties of METABOLITES. Edward D. Harris, Ph.D. Professor Biochemistry and Biophysics and Faculty of Nutrition Texas A&M University.
Pharmacologically Active Drug Metabolites: Impact on Drug Discovery and Pharmacotherapy. Pfizer Inc., Eastern Point Rd., Groton, CT 06340, USA. Pharmacol Rev. 2013 Feb 13;65(2):578-640.
Metabolic regulation and overproduction of primary metabolites. Sanchez S1, Demain AL. Microb Biotechnol. 2008 Jul;1(4):283-319.