Arguably, one of the most important molecules in all of biology is atp.Atp, which stands for adenosine triphosphate.Which sounds very fancy.But all you need to remember, or any time you see atp hanging around in some type of biochemical reaction, something in your brain should say, hey, we're dealing with biological energy.Or another way to think of atp is the currency i'll put that in quotes of biological energy.So how is it a currency of energy well atp stores energy in its bonds.And i'll explain what that means in a second.
And before we learn what an adenosine group or a 3phosphate group looks like, you can just take a bit of a leap of faith, that you could imagine atp as being made up of something called let me do it in a nice color an adenosine group right there.And then attached to it you'll have three phosphates.Not might, you will.You'll have three phosphates attached to it just like that.And this is atp.Adenosine triphosphate.Tri meaning three phosphate groups.Now if you take adenosine triphosphate and you hydrolyze.
This bond, which means if you take this in the presence of water.So let me just throw some water in here.Let's say i have h2o.Then one of these phosphate groups will break off.Essentially part of this water joins to this phosphate group, and then part of it joins to this phosphate group right there.And i'll show you that in a little bit more detail.But i want to give you the big picture first.What you're left with is an adenosine group that now has two phosphates on it.
And this is called adenosine diphosphate or adp.Before we had triphosphate, which means three phosphates.Now we have diphosphate, adenosine triphosphate, so instead of a tri here we just write a di.Which means you have two phosphate groups.And so the atp has been hydrolyzed, or you have broken off one of these phosphate groups.And so now you're left with adp and then an extra phosphate group right here.And and this is the whole key to everything that we talk about when we're dealing with atp and.
You have some energy.And so when i talk about atp being the currency of biological energy, this is why.Is that if you have atp, and if you were to through some chemical reaction you pop off this phosphate right here.It's going to generate energy.That energy can be used for just general heat.Or you could couple this reaction with other reactions that require energy.And then those reactions will be able to move forward.So, i draw these circles.Adenosine and phosphates.And really, this is all you need to know.
Already, what i've shown you right here is really all you need to know to operationally think of how atp operates in most biological systems.And if you want to go the other way.If you have energy and you want to generate atp, the reaction will just go this way.Energy plus a phosphate group plus some adp, you can go back to atp.And so this is stored energy.So this side of the equation is stored energy.And this side of the equation is used energy.And this is really all you well this is 95 of what you.
Need to know to really understand the function of atp in biological systems.It's just a store of energy when you atp has energy.When you break a phosphate off, it generates energy.And then if you want to go from adp and a phosphate back to atp, you have to use energy up again.So if you have atp, that's a source of energy.If you have adp and you want atp, you need to use energy.And so far i've just drawn a circle with an a around it and.
Said that's an adenosine.But sometimes i think it's satisfying to see what the molecule actually looks like.So i cut and pasted this from wikipedia.And the reason why i didn't show this to you initially is because this looks very complicated.While the conceptual reason why atp is the currency of energy, i think is fairly straightforward.When it has three phosphates, one phosphate can break off.And then that'll result with some energy being put into the system.Or if you want to attach that phosphate you have to use up energy.
That's just the basic principle of atp.But this is its actual structure.But even here we can break it down and see that it's really not too bad.We said adenosine.Let me draw the adenosine group.We have adenosine.This right here is adenosine.This part of the molecule right there.That is adenosine.And for those of you that have really paid attention to some of the other tutorials, you might recognize that this part of adenosine so this is called adenosine, but this part right here is adenine.
Which is the same adenine that makes up the nucleotides that are the backbone of dna.So some of these molecules in biological systems have more than one use.This is the same adenine where we talk about adenine and guanine.This is a purine.And there's also the pyrimidines, but i won't go into that much.But that's the same molecule.So that's just an interesting thing.The same thing that makes up dna is also part of what makes up these energy currency molecules.So the adenine makes part of the adenosine part of atp.
And then the other part right here is ribose.Which you might also recognize from rna, ribonucleic acid.That's because you have ribose dealing in the whole situation.But i won't go into that much.But ribose is just a 5carbon sugar.When they don't draw the molecule, it's implied that it's a carbon.So this is one carbon right there, two carbons, three carbons, four carbons, five carbons.And that's just nice to know.It's nice to know that they share parts of their molecules with dna.And these are familiar building blocks that we see.
Over and over again.But i want to emphasize that knowing this, or memorizing this, in no way will help you understand the simpler understanding of atp just being what drives biological reactions.And then here i drew 3phosphate groups, and this is their actual molecular structure.Their lewis structures right here.That's one phosphate group.This is the second phosphate group.And this is a third phosphate group.Just like that.When i first learned this, my first question was, ok i can take this as a leap of faith that if you take one of these.
Phosphate groups off or if this bond is hydrolyzed, that somehow that releases energy.And then i kind of went on and answered all the questions that i had to answer.But why does it release energy what is it about this bond that releases energy remember all bonds are are electrons being shared with different atoms.So the best way you could think about it is right here.These electrons that are being shared right across this bond, or this electron that's being shared right across this bond, and it's coming from the phosphate.
I won't draw the periodic table right now.But you know the phosphate has five electrons to share.It's less electronegative than oxygen, so oxygen will kind of hog the electron.But this electron is very uncomfortable.There's a couple of reasons why it is uncomfortable.It's in a high energy state.One reason why is, you have all these negative oxygens here.So they kind of want to push away from each other.So these electrons in this bond really can't kind of get close to the nucleus.They'll go into kind of a low energy state.
All of this is more of an analogy than the reality.We all know that electrons can get quite complex.And there's a whole quantum mechanical world.But that's a good way to think of it.That these molecules want to be away from each other.But you have these bonds, so this electron, it's kind of in a high energy state.It's further from the nucleuses of these two atoms than it might want to be.And when you pop this phosphate group off, all of a sudden these electrons can enter into a.
Lower energy state.And that generates energy.So this energy right here is always in fact in any chemical reaction where they say energy is generated, it's always from electrons going to a lower energy state.That's what it's all about.And later in future tutorials when we do cellular respiration and glycolysis and all that, whenever we show energy, it's really from electrons going from uncomfortable states to more comfortable states.And in the process they generate energy.If i'm in a plane or i'm jumping out of a plane, i have.
A lot of potential energy right when i jump out of the plane.And you can view that as an uncomfortable state.And then when i'm sitting on my couch watching football, i have a lot less potential energy, so that's a very comfortable state.And i could have generated a lot of energy falling to my couch.But i don't knows.My analogies always break down at some point.Now, the last thing i want to go over for you is exactly how this reaction happens.So far you could turn off this tutorial and you could already.
Deal with atp as it is used in 95 of biology, especially ap bio.But i want you to understand how this reaction actually happens.So to do that, what i'm going to do is copy and paste parts of these.So i already told you that this guy right here is going to break off of the atp.So that's the phosphate group that breaks off.And then you have the rest of it.You have the adp that's left over.So this is the adp.I don't even have to copy and paste all of this stuff.
You can just accept that that's the adenosine group.Just like that.So we've already said that this thing gets hydrolyzed off, or gets cut off and that generates energy.But what i want to do is actually show you the mechanism.A little bit of handwavy mechanism of how this actually happens.So i said this reaction occurs in the presence of water.So let me draw some water here.So i have an oxygen and a hydrogen.And then i have another hydrogen.That's water right there.So hydrolysis is just a reaction where you say, hey,.
This guy here, he wants to bond with something or he wants to share someone else's electrons.So maybe this hydrogen right here goes down here and shares its electron with this oxygen right here.And then this phosphorus, it has an extra electron that it needs to share.Remember it has five valence electrons it wants to share them with oxygen.It has one, two, three, four being shared right now.Well, if this hydrogen goes to this guy, then you're left with this blue oh right here.And this guy can share one of the.
Phosphorus' extra electrons.So you get the oh just like that.So that's the actual process that happens.And it could go the other way as well.I could've cleaved it here.I could have cleaved the whole thing here.And so this guy would have kept the oxygen and the hydrogen would have gone to him.And then this guy would have taken the oh.It could happen in either order.And so either order would be fine.And there's one other point i want to make.And this is a little bit more complex.
And i was even wondering whether i wanted to make it.My whole reason why you're kind of in a lower energy state is, once you break apart actually let me go down here is because i said, hey, this electron is happier when it's so let's say this electron that was part of this phosphorus is happier now.It's in a lower energy state because it's not being stretched.It's not having to spend time between that guy and that guy because this molecule and this molecule want to spread apart.
Because they have negative charges.That's part of the reason.The other reason why, and we'll talk about this in a lot more detail when we learn more about organic chemistry, is that this has more resonance.More resonance structures or resonance configurations.And all that means is that these electrons, these extra electrons here, they can kind of move about between the different atoms.And that makes it even more stable.So if you imagine that this oxygen right here has an extra electron with it.So that extra electron right there, it could come down here.
And then form a double bond with the phosphorus.And then this electron right here can then jump back up to that oxygen.And then that could happen on this side and on that side.And i won't go into the details, but that's another reason why it makes it more stable.If you've already taken organic chemistry, you can kind of appreciate that more.But i don't want to get all into the weeds.The most important thing to remember about atp is that when you cleave off a phosphate group it generates.
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