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[mass noun] The breakdown of complex molecules in living organisms to form simpler ones, together with the release of energy; destructive metabolism.
- ‘Muscle catabolism is a hallmark of sepsis and results from accelerated breakdown of myofibrillar proteins, such as actin and myosin.’
- ‘The various reactions which involve the synthesis of complex molecules can be grouped under the heading of anabolism, whereas the breakdown of complex molecules is known as catabolism.’
- ‘Ammonium produced by catabolism of protein is then excreted in urine.’
- ‘The process, in which the body basically metabolizes itself, is called catabolism and leads to muscle loss and weakness.’
- ‘During normal catabolism, protease enzymes break down carboxylase enzymes and reclaim the associated amino acids and biocytin for recycling.’
Late 19th century: from Greek katabolē throwing down, from kata- down + ballein to throw.
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