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Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the primary energy storage molecule used to activate the reactions needed for growth and reproduction by all living organisms. It is an organic compound consisting of an adenosine molecule bonded to three phosphate groups, and it is present in all living tissue.
It provides energy to drive many of the processes that occur in living cells. Since it is found in all known forms of life, ATP is often referred to as the "molecular unit of currency" of energy transfer within cells. ATP captures chemical energy obtained from the breakdown of food molecules and releases it to fuel other cellular processes.
Examples of cellular activities that require ATP for energy, include:
All of these processes create a high demand for ATP. Additionally, other processes regenerate ATP so that the human body recycles its own body weight equivalent in ATP every day.
Research has shown that there is a correlation between adenosine signaling and penile erections, as well as abnormal or dysfunctional signaling in instances of erectile dysfunction.
ATP is also a precursor to Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and Ribonucleic acid (RNA), and is used as a coenzyme (i.e., a non-protein compound that is necessary for the functioning of an enzyme).
Nuts & Bolts: Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)
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Cell - the basic building blocks of all living things.
Coenzyme - a non-protein compound that is necessary for the functioning of an enzyme.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) - a molecule composed of two polynucleotide chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses.
Ion - an atom or molecule with a net electric charge due to the loss or gain of one or more electrons. Organic - relating to or derived from living matter.
Ribonucleic acid (RNA) - a nucleic acid present in all living cells, its principal role is to act as a messenger carrying instructions from DNA for controlling the synthesis of proteins, although in some viruses RNA rather than DNA carries the genetic information.
Tissue - any of the distinct types of material of which animals or plants are made, consisting of specialized cells and their products.
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Phatarpekar PV, Wen J, Xia Y. Role of adenosine signaling in penile erection and erectile disorders. J Sex Med. 2010;7(11):3553-3564. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01555.x
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