Full Form of ATP – Physical and chemical properties of ATP

Full Form of ATP :

Adenosine Triphosphate

ATP Full Form is Adenosine Triphosphate. It can be termed as the energy currency. ATP is a molecule of high energy, which is found in each cell of our body. Its main function is to supply the cells with stored energy. Each cell uses ATP for energy. ATP molecules are very versatile and can be used for several things. It stores energy in the form of a molecular bond. This bond is broken and energy is released to the cell whenever there is a demand from the body.

Most of the health pills and energy boosters are said to work on ATP stimulation, which in turn supplies energy to the body. Recent studies have revealed that ATP has other effects outside the cells. Some of the significant effects include; increased blood flow, pain suppression, and opening of blood vessels or vasodilation.

ATP Full Form – Additional Information

Adenosine Tri Phosphate, which will hereinafter be referred to as ATP throughout the article, refers to nucleoside triphosphate that is used as a coenzyme in cells. The coenzyme is generally known as the molecular unit of currency used in relation to intracellular energy transfer. ATP conducts transportation of chemical energy in cells for the purposes of metabolism.

Full Form of ATP - Physical and chemical properties of ATP
Full Form of ATP – Physical and chemical properties of ATP

ATP is among the various end-products of aerobic respiration, fermentation, and photophosphorylation and is used in the form of an enzyme as well as structural proteins in different kinds of cellular processes, which includes motility, cell division, and biosynthetic reactions, etc.

Every molecule of ATP comprises phosphate groups and is generated by several kinds of enzymes, which include adenosine diphosphate (abbreviated as ADP), ATP synthase, adenosine monophosphate (abbreviated as AMP). There are three main mechanisms relating to ATP synthesis, namely photophosphorylation, which happens in the process of photosynthesis, oxidative phosphorylation, which happens during cellular respiration, and substrate level phosphorylation.

All the metabolic processes that make use of ATP in the form of an energy source, convert it into many of its precursors. Thus, ATP is subject to continuous recycling in human beings. There are many aspects in ATP that need to be explored. So, here are five things about ATP you must know about:

Physical and chemical properties of ATP

ATP possesses high solubility in water and is found to be stable in solutions falling in the range between pH 6.8 and 7.4. It, however, becomes quickly hydrolysed in the high range of pH. It is because of this reason that ATP is stored in the form of an anhydrous salt. In unbuffered water, ATP behaves as an unstable molecule. It undergoes the process of hydrolyses to phosphate and ADP.

This happens primarily because of the less strength of the bonds between several phosphate groups in ATP as compared to the strength of the various hydrogen bonds (which are also known as hydration bonds). It is due to this, most of the ATP would convert into ADP when in chemical equilibrium in water.

There are two phosphoanhydride bonds present in an ATP molecule that are responsible for the high content of energy. When used in reference to biochemical reactions, these aforementioned bonds are known as high energy bonds. Upon hydrolysis of these anhydride bonds, energy stored may get released. There are several other properties of ATP that need to be extensively studied to be appreciated properly.


The general concentration of ATP within a cell is between one to ten mM. Redox reactions can produce ATP with the help of either complex sugars (which are usually known as carbohydrates) and simple sugars or lipids by using them as a source of energy. Complex sugars undergo hydrolysis into simple sugars for example fructose and glucose. Triglycerides, which are usually known as fats, undergo metabolism to produce glycerol and fatty acids. The entire process of oxidation of glucose into carbon dioxide is known as cellular respiration, which can cause the production of 30 ATP molecules from an individual molecule of glucose.

Functions of ATP

There are many functions that ATP performs and some of them have been bulleted below:

  • In the maintenance of cell structure by causing disassembly and assembly of cytoskeleton elements. In a closely related process, ATP is also required to shorten myosin filament cross bridges and actin.
  • A key feature of ATP is that it behaves as a signaling molecule, which is recognizable by purinergic receptors. These receptors are most abundantly found in tissues of mammals.
  • During the process of synthesis of RNA nucleic acid, adenosine, which is derived from ATP, forms part of the four nucleotides that are directly incorporated into RNA molecules. The energy required for the purpose of polymerization is generated from two phosphate groups.
  • ATP is responsible for the transfer of energy among several metabolic reactions.

Binding to Proteins

Rossmann fold is a characteristic feature protein fold wherein some of the proteins bind themselves with ATP. It is a typical nucleotide binding structure that has the capability to even bind coenzyme NAD. Among all kinds of ATP binding proteins, kinases have the smallest common folds number whereas the protein kinases have the largest. All such ATP binding proteins require a divalent cation, which is usually magnesium, that causes binding to various ATP phosphate groups. Magnesium ions help in regulation of kinases.


ATP comprises multiple groups that have distinct acid disassociation constants. In a neutral solution, ATP that is ionized would generally occur in the form of  ATP4−  with a small quantity of  ATP3− included. ATP has the capability to chelate metals with high affinity and this happens due to its negatively charged nature.