Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
Roskoski, Robert, Jr. Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, Horse Shoe, North Carolina.
Last reviewed:September 2018
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- Substrate-level phosphorylation
- Oxidative phosphorylation
- Biosynthesis reactions
- Enzyme pump
- Muscle metabolism
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A nucleotide, composed of ribose, adenine, and a triphosphate group, that is an important energy compound in metabolism. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) [Fig. 1] is a vital energy-rich chemical found in all living cells. It has a chemical formula of C10H16N5O13P3 and consists of three subunits—ribose (a 5-carbon sugar), adenine (a nitrogenous base composed of two carbon-nitrogen rings), and a triphosphate group (a chain of three phosphate groups, designated α, β, and γ). The oxidation of carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins provides the chemical energy that is used to synthesize ATP, which then serves as the source of the chemical energy necessary for biosynthesis, ion transport, and muscle contraction. Originally discovered by Karl Lohmann in 1929, the idea that ATP serves as the common currency of energy exchange in all cells (an idea that is a cornerstone of biology) was first described by Fritz Lipmann in 1941. See also: Amino acid metabolism; Biological oxidation; Carbohydrate metabolism; Cell (biology); Cell biology; Energy metabolism; Lipid metabolism; Metabolism; Nucleotide
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