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ATP or Adenosine Triphosphate.

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ATP stands for Adenosine Triphosphate and is the immediate supply of energy for biological processes. The ATP consists of an organic nitrogenous base, Adenosine, which is one of the four bases found in a DNA strand, it also consists of a ribose sugar with three phosphates joined by high energy bonds. The energy itself is stored in the form of high-energy chemical bonds; this energy is released on hydrolysis, i.e. by the reaction with water, in a similar way peptide bonds are hydrolysed in proteins. ATP is adapted to is highly suited to its function and role within living organisms as it is easily broken down and is thus a store for immediate energy; it is also a small molecule and can easily move around cells and through membranes. The production of ATP is usually associated with two principalities including respiration and mitochondria. It is common knowledge that respiration, which happens in all living organisms, produces energy and is expressed by the equation of: Glucose + Oxygen Carbon Dioxide + Water + Energy Respiration can be, aerobic, occurring in an oxygenated environment or anaerobic, occurring in oxygen lacking environments. The latter producing 2 molecules of ATP and the former producing between 36- 38 ATP molecules. ...read more.


Active transport is the movement of substances against the concentration gradient using ATP from respiration and carrier proteins in the membrane. The active transport of sodium ions from the ascending limb into the medullary tissue involves ATP, which allows the water to be reabsorbed because the water potential of the tissue surrounding the loop of henle is decreased. ATP is also used in proteins synthesis, which occurs when the bases are forming bonds by complimentary base pairing e.g. A-T, C-G during semi conservative replication where one half of the original parent DNA is conserved in the daughter DNA, or during transcription, which provides a single stranded mRNA. All these processes use the energy released from ATP and thus go on to synthesise proteins and enzymes; which are themselves essential for biological processes including digestion in the gut, as antigens and plasma membranes. The role of ATP is also imperative for movement of living organisms, for example, muscle contraction. Here the ATP is utilised in forming cross bridges between Actin and Myosin as well as unbinding the cross bridges. ATP will aid in the movement of tropomyosin to allow the myosin binding sites to become free, allowing cross bridges to form. However, it then binds to the troponin causing the myosin heads to become released and the cross bridge is broken. ...read more.


osmotic bursting, the glucose can also be used in synthesis of lipids and amino acids, without ATP the hexose would not be formed and none of the compounds would be produced, thus the plant would not exist. ATP is used in active transport in plants, similar to the kidney in humans. The absorption of minerals, such as nitrates & phosphates require ATP, which are present in root hair cells. These nitrates and phosphates are used in protein and chlorophyll synthesis as well as synthesis of DNA, ATP and NADP, which are essential to the plants growth. However, the mineral salts which are carried in solution by the symplast or apoplast pathway need to cross the endodermal barrier, which is impermeable. They cross the endodermal barrier by active transport and continue their journey in solution as ions in the xylem. In conclusion, ATP is adapted to its function and is probably one of the most important molecules in biological processes; it is produced in the mitochondria but is used all over the human body and is equally important in plants, where it is produced in the thylakoids. ATP is essential for survival as it allows the growth of autotrophs and thus supports all the food chains in the world, and also is important in maintaining and controlling the human internal environment. ...read more.

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There are lots of good points made in this essay, but there are also several quite fundamental misunderstandings, some of which are a little worrying. This essay would be significantly improved by some diagrams: the structure of ATP and the Krebs Cycle especially.

Marked by teacher Rebecca Lewis 24/09/2012

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