ATP is the acronym for the nucleotide Adenosine Tri-Phosphate.
ATP consists of:
- A ribose sugar
- Three phosphate groups
- Adenine (a nitrogenous base)
ATP is considered to be a major energy currency of the cell. It is used for all reactions in all cells.
Properties of ATP:
- ATP is easily soluble
- Easily transported across membranes
- Release energy efficiently
- Only requires one enzyme (ATP synthesise) to hydrolyse it
- Energy is released in small, useable amounts
Uses of ATP:
- Mechanical work (i.e. muscle contraction)
- Active Transport of molecules and ions
- Biosynthesis (building up complex molecules from simple molecules)
How energy is release from ATP?
A single enzyme known as ATP synthase hydrolyses or breaks the bond between the last and middle phosphate group (shown B on the diagram above). This releases energy in useable amounts, so little energy is wasted as heat.
How is ATP generated?
ATP is easily reformed by phosphorylation when a phosphate group is added to ADP (Adenosine Di-Phosphate) by condensation reaction. However, you do not need to many more on ATP. You will learn more about Chemiosmosis in Year 13.