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How does NADP become NADPH?

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Quick Answer

NADP, or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate, becomes NADPH when a positive ion of NADP is reduced. This end result is called reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate. This compound is often a part of biosynthetic reactions, which is what this change facilitates.

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Full Answer

Ultimately, reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate, or NADPH, is used in the synthesis of some lipids and cholesterol. It's also a compound used in the creation of certain components used by the immune system to destroy pathogens that might threaten the body.

A nucleotide is a component of a nucleic acid, such as those found in RNA and DNA. Any nucleotide consists of at least one nucleoside and one phosphate group, with different nucleotides containing different amounts of phosphate groups. The four common nucleotide triphosophates are called ATP, GTP, CTP and UTP. Positive NADP is a nucleotide belonging to a group called cofactors, providing a vital function in the creation of enzymes, though to a lesser degree compared to other known cofactors.

In plants, NADPH is found in the last step of photosynthesis. This nucleotide is vital for the creation of glucose from the carbon dioxide the plant draws in from the air, and it helps with breaking down nitrates into usable ammonia.

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