Q:

What is the function of ATP?

A:

Quick Answer

An adenosine triphosphate molecule stores energy that is released and used by energy-consuming reactions, such as muscle contraction, transmission of nerve impulses and formation of other molecules. ATP is found in cells and is made from the breakdown of food. It is composed of oxygen, hydrogen, phosphorus and carbon atoms. The energy in an ATP molecule is locked within phosphate bonds, which hold its phosphate groups together.

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Full Answer

The energy in ATP powers chemical activities, such as the exchange of solutes and waste products across cell membranes. Cell division and motility also depend on ATP. Energy is released from ATP through a process called hydrolysis, which is catalyzed by adenosine triphosphatase. Energy in ATP is also released in the form of heat to regulate body temperature. The process of hydrolysis releases inorganic phosphate and adenosine diphosphate (ADP).

Oxidation is the opposite of hydrolysis and involves the regeneration of ATP by combining ADP with inorganic phosphates. The formation of ATP also uses energy. Fats produce more energy than carbohydrates and proteins. This energy is harvested from food through the process of cellular respiration, which occurs in mitochondria. Scientists in the United States and Germany discovered ATP in 1929, but it was until 1941 that its role in storing and supplying energy was described by a biochemist known as Fritz Lipmann.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    During what part of aerobic respiration is the majority of ATP produced?

    A:

    The majority of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules are produced during the electron transport chain. This is part of the final step in aerobic cell respiration and part of the oxidative phosphorylation process.

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  • Q:

    What role does ATP play in muscle contraction?

    A:

    According to the Fayette County Public Schools, the breakdown of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in a chemical reaction with water provides energy for skeletal muscles to contract. Since the amount of ATP stored in muscles is small, metabolic pathways that generate new ATP must be activated for continued muscle contraction. These pathways are either anaerobic (in the absence of oxygen) or aerobic (in the presence of oxygen).

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  • Q:

    What is ATP energy?

    A:

    Energy that is produced in cells by a molecule called adenosine triphosphate is called ATP energy. ATP energy is essential for many living processes, including muscle contraction and nerve impulses. In order to provide continuous energy to cells, ATP molecules must have continuous access to foods that contain energy.

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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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