Carbon metabolism in early amphibian embryos

Trends Biochem Sci. 1991 Jun;16(6):229-34. doi: 10.1016/0968-0004(91)90091-9.


Xenopus embryos undergoing cleavage utilize amino acids as their main carbon source for metabolism. Glycolysis (from stored glycogen) begins near the onset of gastrulation. Thus, a major transition in the metabolism of the early embryo occurs before morphological differentiation. The enzymology that supports the carbon metabolism of the cleaving amphibian embryo resembles that of many mammalian tumor cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Carbon / metabolism*
  • Gastrula / metabolism*
  • Glycolysis
  • Xenopus / embryology*


  • Amino Acids
  • Carbon