Question Video: Explaining the Importance of the Ornithine Cycle | Nagwa Question Video: Explaining the Importance of the Ornithine Cycle | Nagwa

Question Video: Explaining the Importance of the Ornithine Cycle Biology • Second Year of Secondary School

A product of deamination is ammonia, which is converted into urea via the ornithine (urea) cycle. Why is this conversion important?

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Video Transcript

A product of deamination is ammonia, which is converted into urea via the ornithine, urea, cycle. Why is this conversion important? (A) Ammonia is highly toxic and cannot be stored in the human body. (B) Ammonia is a solid and can cause blockages if left in the body. (C) The conversion of ammonia generates energy, which is needed for other important processes. Or (D) the production of urea is crucial for providing the body with essential nutrients.

To answer this question, let’s take a look at the two processes that it mentions, which both occur in the human liver to detoxify potentially harmful substances: deamination and the ornithine cycle.

Proteins in the food that we eat are broken down in the human digestive system into smaller units called amino acids. Not all of the amino acids that are produced from the breakdown of proteins can be stored in the body. The excess amino acids are transported to the liver, where they can be broken down into molecules that can be used by, or excreted from, the body.

In the liver cells, deamination occurs, which removes an amino group from each of these excess amino acids. This converts the amino acids into organic acids that can now be used by the body cells. Deamination also produces a highly toxic by-product called ammonia, which cannot be stored in the human body as it would be damaging to our cells.

The ornithine cycle, which is sometimes called the urea cycle, also occurs in the liver. This process helps to prevent ammonia from damaging body tissues by converting it into a less harmful compound. This compound, which is called urea, is then transported to the kidneys. From the kidneys, urea is transported to the bladder, from which it can be removed from the body as a part of urine.

We are looking for the answer that explains why it is important that ammonia is converted into urea via the ornithine cycle. And now we know that the correct answer is (A). Ammonia is highly toxic and cannot be stored in the human body.

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