Unit C

Module 5 ~ Lesson 7

Metabolic Toxins

What are metabolic toxins? They are chemicals that impair or disrupt metabolic pathways such as photosynthesis and cellular respiration. A metabolic toxin will prevent the proper functioning of chloroplasts or mitochondria.

Science has moved technology toward creating pesticides and herbicides that interfere with the metabolic processes of organisms and ultimately cause death. Scientists must use the scientific process to determine the harmful effects on humans and the desired effects on pests and weeds. Metabolic toxin research may also help scientists discover ways to inhibit cancer cell growth by creating toxins that specifically inhibit cellular respiration in cancer cell mitochondrion that would ultimately cause the cancer cells to die.


Read the Thought Lab "The Effects of Metabolic Toxins on Cellular Respiration" on page 189 of your textbook. You do not have to complete the procedure or analysis, but you may be curious to explore some of the metabolic toxins listed.