A Molecule Contains Three Phosphate Groups

Explain that the biologically important part of the molecule contains three phosphate groups

  • ATP consists of a base (Adenine in this case), a ribose (sugar) and a phosphate chain.
  • The phosphate chain is the key to the activity of ATP. The phosphate groups are broken away through the process of hydrolysis.
  • Hydrolysis: When one phosphate group is dismissed via hydrolysis, Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) is left behind and a significant amount of energy is produced. This phosphate chain is considered to be the biologically important part of the molecule because it is the site of the energy producing reaction.
  • The ATP molecule is often compared to a bank account or battery. This is because the molecule can recycle itself into ATP again after it has become ADP, simply by picking up another phosphate.