Describe and explain the uses of ATP in living organisms
ATP or Adenosine Triphosphate is a molecule found in most organisms that respire both anaerobically and aerobically. The molecules structure consists of a pentose sugar, a nitrogenous base and 3 phosphates in which one of them is highly unstable. ATP is an immediate energy source for various processes such as respiration and photosynthesis. ATP releases its energy quickly via one chemical reaction, this reaction being the hydrolysis of the terminal or unstable phosphate. When the unstable phosphate is removed after being catalyzed by ATPase it changes from ATP and becomes ADP or Adenosine Diphosphate. This reaction releases around 30 kj of energy per mole. This reaction is reversible meaing ADP can return to ATP
ATP has many practical uses within different organisms.one of the uses is called bioluminescence. This is where ATP hydrolysis drives the oxidization of luciferin, which in turn releases some energy as visible light. This feature is found on organisms such as fireflies and anglerfish. Because this fish can be found at a depth of around 3000ft it is extremely dark therefore the light is used to attract other fish towards them putting their pray only a few inches away from their mouth where they are then eaten.
Another use for ATP within organisms is muscle contraction. As the body breaks down glucose it produces ATP to store the energy released. ATP is used to bring energy to the actin protein to make it move. There are two proteins in muscles that cause them to move called actin and myosin. The actin has indentations where one end of the myosin can attach. When myosin is phosphorylated (given a phosphate by ATP) it moves one notch down on the actin. This process happens to make the muscle contract.
ATP is also used in the movement of other molecules.