C1.2 Cell Respiration

C1.2.1 ATP is the molecule that distributes energy within cells (ATP is the energy source for life)

ATP stands for Adenosine Triphosphate. ATP is a modified nucleotide. In fact it is simply the nucleotide adenine (from DNA/RNA) with an extra two phosphate molecules.

The bonds between those two extra phosphate molecules are endergonic (that means it takes energy to make them). This means when these phosphate-phosphate bonds are broken, the energy used to make them is released.

All of life processes are powered by this release of energy. ATP is soluble in water, and stable in neutral pH conditions. 

Discuss the similarities and differences between the two molecules shown above

C1.2.2 Life Processes within cells that ATP supplies with energy (what do we use ATP for)

Discuss: Make a list of things that your body does that require energy. Explore what might be required on a cellular level to make these things happen.

Cells need energy for three main types of activity:

  1. Synthesizing macromolecules (anabolic reactions). Synthesis of DNA, building proteins for growth and repair and building other large molecules.
  2. Active transport (crossing a membrane against the gradient). ATP is used to pump ions or particles across a cell membrane through a protein pump, againt the concentration gradient. The Sodium/Potassium pump is a good example, as part of nerve impulse transmission
  3. Movements The movement of vesicles within a cell, and the contraction of muscle fibers, are all forms of movement that are powered by ATP.

C1.2.3 Energy transfers during interconversions between ATP (storing and releasing energy).

Discuss: To what extend does ATP act like a battery in the cell?