The Role of ATP

  • All living organisms gain energy by the process of respiration
  • Glucose is broken down in control steps by enzymes
  • Small amounts of energy are released at each stage
  • This energy is used to produce: Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)
  • 'The universal energy currency' - made in all living all organisms and used to supply all reactions


ATP is a nucleotide consisting of:

  • An organic base (adenine)
  • A pentose sugar (ribose)
  • A sequence of 3 linked phosphate groups


  • Uncontrolled release of energy from glucose would result in a temperature increase that would destroy cells
  • Living organisms release energy gradually to produce ATP



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