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Adenosine triphosphate

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(biochemistry) An organic compound that is composed of adenosine (an adenine ring and a ribose sugar) and three phosphate groups, hence, the name; a nucleotide with a chemical formula of C10H16N5O13P3


ATP is a nucleotide that contains a large amount of chemical energy stored in its high-energy phosphate bonds. It releases energy when it is broken down (hydrolyzed) into ADP (or Adenosine Diphosphate). The energy is used for many metabolic processes. Hence, ATP is considered as the universal energy currency for metabolism. Its structure is comprised of a purine base, particularly adenine that is bound at the 9' nitrogen atom to the 1' carbon atom of ribose sugar, and a three phosphate groups. The removal of one or two phosphate groups yields adenosine monophosphate or adenosine diphosphate, respectively.

ATP is produced via cellular respiration in the mitochondria and photosynthesis in chloroplasts. It is also formed as one of the end products of photophosphorylation and fermentation. Its functions are for intracellular energy transport for various metabolic processes including biosynthetic reactions, motility, and cell division. It is also used as a substrate by kinases that phosphorylate proteins and lipids, and by adenylate cyclase to produce cyclic AMP.

Chemical formula: C10H16N5O13P3


  • ATP


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