AP Biology Metabolism and Respiration Study Guide

As always, this is just a starting point, not a comprehensive review of what you should know for the exam, but here are some good questions for you to ponder…


Ch 8 – An Introduction to Metabolism

What are catabolic and anabolic pathways? Exothermic and endothermic reactions?

Why don’t most exothermic reactions instantaneously proceed? Be able to define and give examples of energy.

How can we store energy if we can’t touch it?

What is thermodynamics and how do the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics profoundly affect energy flow and utilization in a living system?

What is free energy and how is it useful biologically?

What is metabolic disequilibrium? Why is it hard to maintain in a closed system?

How does ATP store energy and perform work?

Be able to discuss enzymes, activation energy, and how enzymes work (active sites, etc).

What is an allosteric site?

How is enzymatic function impacted by temperature, pH, etc?

Be able to compare the different types of enzymatic inhibitors and discuss allosteric regulation and cooperativity.

What is feedback inhibition and why is it so crucially important?


Ch 9 – Respiration

What are redox reactions (be able to keep oxidation and reductions straight) and how are they important to yielding energy from organic fuels (like glucose)?

Why does the number of hydrogens present on an organic molecule (like a fat) affect how much energy will be harvested?

How are combustion and respiration similar?

What is NAD+/NADH and how is it used?

What is an electron transport chain?

What are the three stages of aerobic respiration and where in a cell does each occur?

What is substrate level phosphorylation and how is it different from oxidative phosphorylation?

Be able to do “book-keeping” with regard to the stages of respiration (ie- tell me how much of what is made, what is used, and where products will end up going).

What is/are chemiosmosis? Proton motive force? ATP synthase? Cytochromes?

How does the design of a mitochondrion relate to its function?

Be able to explain conceptually how the process of respiration works.

Why is oxygen so important to the process? What happens when oxygen isn’t present?

What are alcohol and lactic acid fermentation?

What is a facultative anaerobe?

Be able to compare and contrast fermentation with aerobic respiration.

What is the evolutionary ancestry of respiration? What is the evidence that indicates that glycolysis is very old?

What is the importance of phosphofructokinase?

Be sure to look over the labs and be able to discuss experimental design and the concepts behind how the variables (enzymatic rate/respiration rate) were measured.