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Topic: Difference between "pathway" and "process" in Biochemistry  (Read 7094 times)

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Offline physxyq

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Difference between "pathway" and "process" in Biochemistry
« on: November 04, 2015, 12:21:46 AM »
Hi everyone,
I'm new in biochemistry and curious about some terms in this area. For example, "signal-transduction pathway", "metabolic pathway", and so on. I'm confused about the usage of the word "pathway". Once I presented it as "signal-transduction process", but one teacher in this field told me that "pathway" is different from "process" and CANNOT be replaced by "process". He explained that the two words are inclusion relation, that one "pathway" contains a series of "processes". Then I searched the two words in Collins Dictionary:

pathway:
A pathway is a particular course of action or a way of achieving something.

process:
A process is a series of actions which are carried out in order to achieve a particular result.

but I'm still unclear about the differences between them. So can anyone give me some directions to solve this confusion?

Thanks very much!

Offline sjb

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Re: Difference between "pathway" and "process" in Biochemistry
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2015, 02:30:36 AM »
I'm not 100% sure on this, but consider

Glucose-1-phosphate  :rarrow: Glucose-6-phosphate as in the Krebs' cycle.

One pathway is G-1-P :rarrow: G :rarrow: G-6-P, another is G-1-P :rarrow: G-1,6-diP :rarrow: G-6-P, and there may even be G-1-P :rarrow: G-1,4-diP :rarrow: G-4-P :rarrow: G-4,6-diP :rarrow: G-6-P (hypothetically, at least)

So there are different pathways to achieve this, but the process is essentially phosophorylation at C-6, and dephospohorylation at C-1

Offline physxyq

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Re: Difference between "pathway" and "process" in Biochemistry
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2015, 03:14:13 AM »
I'm not 100% sure on this, but consider

Glucose-1-phosphate  :rarrow: Glucose-6-phosphate as in the Krebs' cycle.

One pathway is G-1-P :rarrow: G :rarrow: G-6-P, another is G-1-P :rarrow: G-1,6-diP :rarrow: G-6-P, and there may even be G-1-P :rarrow: G-1,4-diP :rarrow: G-4-P :rarrow: G-4,6-diP :rarrow: G-6-P (hypothetically, at least)

So there are different pathways to achieve this, but the process is essentially phosophorylation at C-6, and dephospohorylation at C-1

Thanks for your response, yeah, I feel the same.

In other words, "process" emphasizes the result, while "pathway" focuses more on in-between.

Is there anyone has other opinions?

Offline Babcock_Hall

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Re: Difference between "pathway" and "process" in Biochemistry
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2015, 09:04:45 AM »
A given pathway generally has a series of reactions.  I wouldn't use "processes" as a synonym for "reactions," but I wouldn't get too animated about it, either.  I suppose that I would use pathway and process in the following way:  The process of converting serine into cysteine happens by different pathways in different organisms.

Offline physxyq

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Re: Difference between "pathway" and "process" in Biochemistry
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2015, 12:20:03 AM »
A given pathway generally has a series of reactions.  I wouldn't use "processes" as a synonym for "reactions," but I wouldn't get too animated about it, either.  I suppose that I would use pathway and process in the following way:  The process of converting serine into cysteine happens by different pathways in different organisms.

Thank you for your reply. I think I can distinctly feel the differences between the two words now.

AdaBrown

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Re: Difference between "pathway" and "process" in Biochemistry
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2015, 09:54:30 PM »
I interpret pathway as the route for a comprehensive reaction which involving numerous reactions and processes.

Offline physxyq

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Re: Difference between "pathway" and "process" in Biochemistry
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2015, 04:43:25 AM »
I interpret pathway as the route for a comprehensive reaction which involving numerous reactions and processes.

That is the same opinion that one of my teachers holds, which is in conflict with mine. ;D

Offline writer

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Re: Difference between "pathway" and "process" in Biochemistry
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2015, 12:41:00 PM »
I would use the word pathway for the reaction that shows every step of it, for example, every step of the Krebs cycle.

And I would use the word process, when you mention only the result (or start and end) of the reaction without mentioning the steps, for example: Gluconeogenesis is a biochemical process in which glucose is produced from noncarbohydrate sources.

Offline physxyq

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Re: Difference between "pathway" and "process" in Biochemistry
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2015, 12:56:48 AM »
I would use the word pathway for the reaction that shows every step of it, for example, every step of the Krebs cycle.

And I would use the word process, when you mention only the result (or start and end) of the reaction without mentioning the steps, for example: Gluconeogenesis is a biochemical process in which glucose is produced from noncarbohydrate sources.

I agree with your opinion.

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