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Atp Structure Essay

933 words - 4 pages

ATP is universal form of free energy in all living organisms and is an energy coupling agent (Tymoczko et al. 2013. p. 250). When ATP is hydrolyzed to produce adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and orthophosphate (Pi), or to adenosine monophosphate (AMP) and Pi, free energy is liberated. This free energy can then be utilized for endergonic reactions that need an input of free energy in order to occur. The recycling of ATP/ADP is critical to for energy exchange in living organisms. Thermodynamically unfavorable reactions can be driven if they are coupled to ATP hydrolysis in a new reaction.

The structure of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is composed of a three phosphate groups (in a ...view middle of the document...

As a result, ADP and Pi are stabilized after hydration occurs (Tyzmocko et al. 2013. p. 253). Additionally, while ATP has a high phosphoryl transfer potential compared to ADP and Pi, compared to other biologically important molecules, its phosphoryl transfer potential is intermediate. Due to this intermediate phosphoryl transfer potential, ATP is especially effective as a phosphoryl group carrier. When ATP transfers a phosphoryl group, this is a thermodynamically favorable reaction and ATP is an immediate donor of free energy (Tyzmoczko et al. 2013. p. 257).

Oxidative phosphorylation, the succession of reactions in cellular respiration, occurs in the mitochondria in eukaryotic organisms. During the citric acid cycle portion of respiration, carbon fuels are oxidized to produce high-energy electrons (NADH and FADH2). These high energy, or high transfer-potential electrons are then used for the reduction of oxygen to water. As the electron flow passes through mitochondrial protein complexes, the oxidation/reduction reactions that occur generate proton motive force, which is used to generate ATP. (Tymoczko et al. 2013. p. 347). According to the chemiosmotic hypothesis, this proton gradient is what links the electron transport chain and ATP synthesis. The proton gradient is the result of an unequal distribution of the chemical and charge gradients (Tymoczko et al. 2013. p. 368).

ATP synthase, which catalyzes the synthesis of ATP from ADP and orthophosphate, ATP synthase is comprised of a F0 subunit and a F1 subunit. The F0 subunit, which contains the proton channel, incorporated into the mitochondrial membrane, while the F1 subunit, which is comprised of three alpha and three beta subunits, is located in the mitochondrial matrix. The F1 subunit is responsible for the catalytic activity of the ATP synthase. Three different active sites on ATP synthase are responsible for the different...

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