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Adenosine Triphosphate

Adenosine Triphosphate is the full name of an important chemical which is often abbreviated to ATP.

It consists of adenosine and three phosphate groups and is called triphosphate because of it includes three phosphate groups and has the chemical formula: C10H8N4O2NH2(OH)2(PO3H)3H .


Adenosine Triphosphate plays an important role in muscle actions (contraction and relaxation), as follows:

The myosin heads (within the thick filaments) include an enzyme called ATPase that splits Adenosine triphosphate into adenosine diphosphate and a phosphate group.

That is:

Adenosine Triphosphate_-->_ Adenosine diphosphate + energy + inorganic Phosphate

Very many molecules of Adenosine Triphosphate are split in this way with every movement of every muscle. It cannot be stored, but is used as it is produced by the body.

Each Adenosine Triphosphate molecule is recycled 2000 to 3000 times during a single day.

The opposite to the above process is:

Adenosine diphosphate + inorganic Phosphate + energy _-->_ Adenosine Triphosphate

This section consists of short summaries about the structures that form the muscles of the body. This list is not exhaustive but is intended to be appropriate for students of A-Level Human Biology, ITEC courses in massage and related subjects, and other courses in health sciences. For more general information about muscles see the pages about:

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