ATP (adenosine triphosphate) was discovered in 1929 by the German biochemist Karl Lohmann (1898-1978). ATP is an energy carrier; the bonds of the three phosphates to the adenosine are very energy-rich chemical bonds.
Function of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
When phosphate is split off, adenosine diphosphate (ADP), a phosphate and energy, are formed. This released energy is used by our body.
Function of the ATP in our musculature
Our musculature ATP attaches itself to myosin and makes it soft. By splitting off a phosphate, the energy is generated to re-tension the myosin. Now the myosin can contract again.
Our muscles have an ATP supply of approx. 6 mmol/kg. At maximum load, this stock is only sufficient for approx. 2-3 seconds. Here the creatine phosphate helps out for approx. 6-10 seconds. Then the energy requirement is covered by glycolysis and finally by the respiratory chain (aerobic energy production).
ADP and phosphate can now be regenerated to ATP in the body by aerobic energy production alone (i.e. by burning glucose with oxygen).
A special feature here is heart and liver. These are able to recover ATP from lactate, which is produced during anaerobic energy production. This also happens under oxygen and energy consumption.
ATP as controller
A constant ATP concentration of approx. 6 mmol/kg musculature prevails constantly in the cell.
When the ATP concentration falls below a certain threshold, energy-providing reactions are activated as described above. When a certain threshold value is exceeded, the excess energy is used to form creatine phosphate and glycogen as an “energy cushion” in the liver.
However, these stores are limited; further excess energy leads to the storage of fat!
The daily consumption and regeneration of ATP correspond approximately to the body weight of the human being. For example, an 80 kg man consumes 40 kg of ATP per day, which is replaced by 40 kg of newly formed and regenerated ATP.
This post is also available in: German