Q:

Why is ATP called the energy currency of the cell?

A:

Quick Answer

ATP is called the energy currency of the cell, and of life, because it is the energy molecule that all cells need in order to do anything within the human body. The molecule is used like a battery within cells and allows the consumption of one of its phosphorous molecules.

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Full Answer

Once the cell's phosphorous is used it becomes ADP, and in the mitochondria, the phosphorous is returned through a system called cellular respiration. During cellular respiration, if oxygen is available, the mitochondria can produce 36 to 38 ATP per reaction through aerobic respiration. If there is an oxygen debt when the muscles have used all of their supplies, only two ATP can be supplied through anaerobic respiration.

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  • Q:

    What is ATP used for?

    A:

    ATP is a storage molecule that provides the energy for many life functions. The formation ADP from ATP releases energy while new energy from food intake rebuilds ATP molecules for future use.

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  • Q:

    When can ATP convert to ADP?

    A:

    Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is converted to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) in the cells of plants and animals when energy is required to power processes in the cell. ATPase, an enzyme, cleaves one of the phosphate bonds on ATP (three phosphates), converting it to ADP (two phosphates) and releasing energy.

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  • Q:

    How does ATP form from ADP?

    A:

    The oxidation of carbohydrates and fats in an organism creates several chemical reactions that release enough energy to turn one molecule of ADP into approximately 150 molecules of ATP by adding phosphate groups to the molecule. ATP is adenosine triphosphate and is the energy-bearing molecule found in living cells.

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  • Q:

    What is the major energy carrier molecule in most cells?

    A:

    The major energy carrier molecule in cells is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Adenosine triphosphate is a nucleoside triphosphate that stores all of the energy inside of cells.

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