The Role of ATP in cellular metabolism
Cells are required to carry out thousands and thousands of chemical reactions just so everything will remain functioning properly. Every reaction carried out requires energy from a particular source. Cells have come up with their own way of doing this in very well-organized metabolic systems. Each cell type has its own variation of the precise mechanisms. Animals receive energy through aerobic respiration, where as plants deliver energy through the act of photosynthesis. These are two totally different ways to reaching the same important goal of producing ATP molecules. ATP is a very important result of metabolic systems, and is the main energy source. ATP itself is a specific nucleotide. ATP differs from other nucleotides because of the simple fact it can be extensively used as a transporter of chemical energy. ATP results from the addition of three phosphate groups to adenine, hence the name adenosine tri-phosphate. The bonds holding these three phosphates are known to be highly energetic. Two of the phosphates are easily broken down to release energy and are added in a covalent bond during processes like respiration. ATP is the source for driving active transport and reactions like cellular respiration and photosynthesis. ATP is broken down by hydrolysis. This results in adenosine diphosphate and an inorganic phosphate. Along with this comes the release of energy which can be used all through-out the system. Taking this step one further you can produce AMP, which contains only one phosphate group. This will release another phosphorous and more useful energy. This extra phosphorus released is then used to produce more ATP and keep the cycle of ATP construction moving. The process of cellular metabolism can be quickly defined and explained through generalized examples, but is a very important and intriguing process. ATP plays a huge role in our bodies and without it and metabolism; the food we take in could not be...
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