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Brief Introduction about Adenosine Triphosphate(ATP)



Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a nucleoside triphosphate, a small but surprising molecule used in cells as a coenzyme often called the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer.

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is considered by biologists to be the energy currency of life. It is the high-energy molecule that stores the energy we need to do just about everything we do. It is present in the cytoplasm and nucleoplasm of every cell, and essentially all the physiological mechanisms that require energy for operation obtain it directly from the stored ATP.  As food in the cells is gradually oxidized, the released energy is used to re-form the ATP so that the cell always maintains a supply of this essential molecule. Karp quotes an estimate that more than 160kg of ATP is formed in the human body daily! ATP is remarkable for its ability to enter into many coupled reactions, both those to food to extract energy and with the reactions in other physiological processes to provide energy to them. In animal systems, the ATP is synthesized in the tiny energy factories called mitochondria by a process called glycolysis.

The structure of ATP has an ordered carbon compound as a backbone, but the critical part is the phosphorous part - the triphosphate. Three phosphorous groups are connected by oxygens to each other, and there are also side oxygens connected to the phosphorous atoms. Under the normal conditions in the body, each of these oxygens has a negative charge, and as you know, electrons want to be with protons - the negative charges repel each other. These bunched up negative charges want to escape - to get away from each other, so there is a lot of potential energy here. 


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