BY4.1 The Role of ATP

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ATP Structure:

ATP consists of:

  • an organic base (adenine)
  • 5 carbon sugar (ribose)
  • 3 phosphate groups

Importance of ATP:

An uncontrolled release of gluocse would lead to an increase in temperature that could destory cells

  • short term energy store
  • 'energy currency' of the cell
  • hydrolysis of ATP releases energy as required


  • an exergonic reaction
  • energy is released (30kjmil/1)
  • catalysed by the enzyme ATPase


  • an endergonic reaction
  • 30 kjmol/1 needed to add a phosphate group to ADP
  • the energy is held in place by a high energy bond


  • phosphorylation of ATP (addition of a phosphate group) is a means of transferring free energy from energy rich compounds (gluocse) to cellular reaction
  • 3 forms of phosphorylation
    • substrate level phosphorylation: chemical reactions release enough energy for phosphoryaltion to occur
    • oxidative phosphorylation: occurs in the membranes of mitochondira durig aerobic respiration
    • photophosphorylation: occurs in the membranes of chloroplasts during photosynthesis

Uses of ATP:

  • active transport
  • muscle contraction
  • synthesis of materials wihtin cells
  • nerve transmission

Advantages of ATP:

  • only one enzyme is needed to…


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