ATP is a molecule that is important for many chemical reaction and processes. ATP stands for adenosine triphosphate. ATP stores energy, and all energy that is needed for biological processes to occur comes from ATP. Food is broken down to create ATP and then ATP is consumed when work is done. ATP is made in the mitochondrial cells of humans.
Cellular respiration is the process where energy is produced from glucose. The first step of cellular respiration, changing glucose to pyruvate, produces two ATP. If oxygen is present then the pyruvate molecule proceeds through aerobic respiration and produces 34 additional ATP molecules. If there is no oxygen present then anaerobic respiration occurs and no additional ATP is produced. Cells in the human body use aerobic respiration to produce energy.
There are four different types of proteins found in cell membranes that can transport molecules across the membrane known as P-class pumps. In order for transport to occur ATP is needed. Such specific pumps include sodium-potassium pumps and calcium pumps. Molecular ions will bind to the main site on the protein and then an ATP will bind to a secondary site in order for movement into and out of the cell. If there is no ATP then the molecular ions cannot go where they are needed.
Anabolic reactions refer to reactions in which molecules, such as fats, lipids carbohydrates and proteins, are synthesized. In order to build new molecules energy is required to form molecular bonds. The energy from ATP is provided when one of the phosphates on the triphosphate of the molecule is cleaved off, releasing any energy that was needed to form the phosphate bond. Therefore, ATP is transformed into ADP or adenosine diphosphate.
Bioluminescence occurs when living creatures, such as fireflies, fungi, glow worms, fish, squid and some crustaceans, can emit light. This process cannot occur unless ATP is present as an energy source. Think of ATP like the battery for your light bulb. The bigger the battery the brighter the light, and the more ATP the brighter the bioluminescence. In fact, bioluminescence is frequently used as a way to measure the amount of ATP in different materials. Chemical companies produce special kits that were designed based on the bioluminescent reaction.