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ATP is known as Adenosine Triphosphate. ATP, the universal energy currency molecule of
the cell, transfers energy from chemical bonds to endergonic (energy absorbing) reactions
within the cell.
ATP is produced when the energy released during respiration in the mitochondria and
during photosynthesis in the chloroplasts, is used to attach a third phosphate group to ADP
(Adenosine diphosphate).
ATP = ADP + Pi
Energy is stored in the covalent bonds between phosphate groups, with the greatest
amount of energy in the bond between the second and third phosphate groups. This
covalent bond is known as a pyrophosphate bond. When this bond is broken, energy is
released. That is how cells get their energy. That explains the importance of making these
ATPs in the cells.
Why ATP is considered as the universal energy currency molecule of the cell?
1. Small and soluble – Easy and fast to transport
2. Easily hydrolysed – Because the entire molecule is very unstable
3. High energy released (30.6 kJ/mol) – Which is considerably high for the size of
4. Rapid turnover – Broken fast and made fast (equally fast)
5. Used by most types of cells