Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a cell's charged storage unit for energy.

When its energy is spent it becomes Adenosine diphosphate (ADP). The ADP can then be recharged and reused indefinitely.

Cells take in energy units such as glucose and break them down into carbon dioxide, water, and energy. The energy released is used to hook a phosphate group to the ADP, recharging it and making it into ATP again; this can then be broken back down by the cell to give off the stored energy.

Even more energy can be extracted by removing a second phosphate group, creating adenosine monophosphate (AMP). Breaking ATP directly into AMP will create a pyrophosphate, which is unstable and will break down very quickly, making the ATP --> AMP reaction irreversible. (The ATP --> ADP --> AMP reaction does not create a pyrophosphate, and is reversible).

The human body contains about 0.1 mole of ATP; the energy used by the body's cells requires the hydrolysis of 200 to 300 moles of ATP each day. Each ATP molecule is recycled 2000 to 3000 times every day. Every hour about 1 kilogram of ATP is created, processed, and recycled in your body.


    Its full chemical name is [[[5-(6-aminopurin-9-yl)-3,4-dihydroxy-oxolan-2-yl] methoxy-hydroxy-phosphoryl] oxy-hydroxy-phosphoryl] oxyphosphonic acid.

    It's usually referred to as ATP.

    The chemical formula is C10H16N5O13P3

    Its molecular mass is 507.181 g mol-1

    Its CAS number is 56-65-5

structural formula for adenosine triphosphate:

$ - high energy single-bond

                             -.
            NH2               |
            |                 |
       N == C                 |
      /      \                |
H -- C        C -- N          |
      \\     //     \\        |
       N -- C        C -- H   |
              \     /         |
                 N            |
                 |             }- adenosine
                 C            |
                /  \          |
         OH -- C-H  \         |
               |     O        |
         OH -- C-H  /         |
                \  /          |
                 C   H        |
                / \ /         |
               H   C -- H     |             
                   |          |
                   O         -'
                   |         -. -. -.
             OH -- P == O      }-+--|- monophosphate (AMP)
                   |          |  |  |
                   O         -'  |  |
                   $             |  |
             OH -- P == O         }-+-- diphosphate (ADP)
                   |             |  |
                   O            -'  |
                   $                |
             OH -- P == O            }- triphosphate (ATP)
                   |                |
                   O               -'
                    

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