ATP - an energy-carrying molecule found in the cells of all living things. Captures chemical energy obtained from the breakdown of food molecules and releases it to fuel other cellular processes.

ATP stands for Adenosine Triphosphate, an organic compound composed of adenosine (an adenine ring and ribose sugar) and three phosphate groups, hence, the name.

An empirical formula is a formula that shows the amount of elements in a molecule, instead of the total number of atoms. The empirical formula of ATP molecules is C10H16N5O13P3.

ATP is created through respiration and it is a molecule in cells which is used by the cell’s organelles whenever they need energy. ATP is known as the ‘energy currency’. Whenever the chemicals bonds are broken energy is released, it is a type of chemical energy. If the ATP is going to be used to do work in the cell it will be broken down to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and phosphate. To turn it back to ATP the organelle called Mitochondria is needed.

There are 3 phosphates attached to the ATP molecule. When one phosphate is used up, it becomes ADP, which is 2 phosphates. It releases energy when it is broken down, therefore 'powering' the organelle that the energy is sent to through several chemical reactions. Its functions are for intracellular energy transport for various metabolic processes, like motility and cell division. Because ATP is continuously used up for biological processes, the supply of energy can be bolstered by new glucose sources that have entered the body through food. Because the phosphates would eventually break down, the ADP has to go back to the mitochondria to regenerate the extra phosphate to make it back into ATP. Even though this requires energy, it is worth it because the energy gained is more than the energy required to recreate it.

This is a short video that clearly explains how ATP molecules work:


Functions of ATP:
ATP molecules' most important job is to provide energy to the cells, in order to keep them working. However, this is not the only function of ATP. ATP molecules are used to transport moving (working) substances across the cell membrane, to help the spreading of working cells in specific areas. It is also used for mechanical work, such as supplying energy in muscles, helping directly with contraction of muscles, blood circulation, and controlling the body movement. ATP also enables chromosomes and flagella to carry out their own functions of being a cell. It can also be used as the main controller of a metabolic reaction, and on the process of sending messages on each cells. This is by affecting the chains that proteins are all linked to, to create a formation of "cell". The chains are a weak chemical bond that is flexible on its formation of shapes. And when there is no sufficient supply of energy, the proteins either becomes active or inactive towards the messages that are being delivered. This causes molecules to change the conformation, and this usually happens to humans when being positive.

Here is a video that outlines more functions that ATP has:

Works Cited:

"adenosine triphosphate." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2012. Web. 16 Feb. 2012.<>.

"ATP." Biology Online. N.p., 12 Sept. 2010. Web. 5 Feb. 2012.

LeslieSamuelTV. What ATP is and How it Works – BioVid Episode 3 . YouTube. N.p., 8 June 2010. Web. 17 Feb. 2012.

"What Does Empirical Formula Mean? Definition, Meaning and Pronunciation (Free English Language Dictionary)." English-learning and Pronunciation Courses with Audio, Online Dictionary and More. Web. 18 Feb. 2012.

ALevelBIO. “What Is ATP Used For?” YouTube. 20 Aug. 2011. YouTube. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. <‌watch?v=M-LXDsuHWQ0&feature=related>.

Bergman, Jerry. “ATP: The Perfect Energy.” Trueorgin. N.p., 12 Feb. 2012. Web. 21 Feb. 2012. <‌atp.asp>.