The bonds of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) can be broken through the addition of water, releasing one or two phosphate groups in an exergonic process called hydrolysis. This reaction liberates the energy in the bonds for use in the cell—for instance, to synthesize proteins from amino acids.
If one phosphate group is removed, a molecule of ADP—adenosine diphosphate—remains, along with inorganic phosphate. ADP can be further hydrolyzed to AMP—adenosine monophosphate—by the removal of a second phosphate group.
ATP consists of an adenine base, a ribose sugar, and three phosphate groups, with the latter attached to each other through high-energy phosphoanhydride bonds.
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