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Why is ATP better than glucose as an immediate energy store for cell metabolism?

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    It seems a really easy question but I can't do it!
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    It is better for the following reasons-
    - The breakdown of ATP to ADP is a single- step process. This makes energy immediately available for anabolic processes with cells

    - The amount of energy that is realeased by the hydrolysis of ATP is small enough to be used for anabolic processes. This prevents large amounts of surplus energy (or heat) being released
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    (Original post by MissSurfer)
    It seems a really easy question but I can't do it!
    You can't answer that question...

    Glucose isn't used as an immediate energy store!...


    Glucose needs to be converted to ATP...

    This is why respiraiton takes place...
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    I just copied the question from my question sheet so...

    Maybe I just have to state the obvious and say 'because ATP is released more quickly whereas glucose has got to be converted to ATP first'. Doesn't really matter anyway - it's only a quick question!
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    As Revenged stated in his rather strange ellipsis-segmented post, ATP is produced in the metabolic pathway, that is respiration. Glucose is a carbohydrate which can drive the reaction to produce ATP. Glucose needs to be converted to produce ATP which is the immediate energy releasing molecule.
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    (Original post by Decota)
    Glucose needs to be converted to produce ATP which is the immediate energy releasing molecule.
    [pedant]Strictly speaking, glucose isn't 'converted' to anything, but rather oxidised in a series of redox reactions.[/pedant]

    And BTW, that is Revenged's unique style. They don't teach medical students anything these days.... *whistles* :p:

    Slightly off-topic from the original OP's question, but it is important to remember that ATP is not the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to storing potential energy for the cell to use. The proton-motive force plays a vital and direct role in many active transport systems. This is particularly evident in bacterial species, where the majority of their active transport systems directly use the electrochemical gradient of protons to power the uptake of nutrients and explusion of waste ('proton-power' is also used for locomotion via flagella, and producing heat by uncoupling respiration and opening non-ATPase channels).

    Oh and another interesting side-note - Did you know that ATPase can run equally well in reverse by splitting ATP into ADP +Pi? Why? This allows the cell to maintain the proton-gradient even if oxidative respiration fails. ATP is produced by fermentation, and split to ADP + Pi by ATPase, thus pumping a proton across the membrane, maintaining the proton gradient.

    Sorry for geekiness; i've just been reading, and got a bit over-excited.... :p:
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    (Original post by nikk)
    They don't teach medical students anything these days.... *whistles* :p:
    I'd like to see you memorising the names, courses and functions of all twelve cranial nerves...
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    (Original post by Revenged)
    I'd like to see you memorising the names, courses and functions of all twelve cranial nerves...
    I'll leave you to memorise your facts, whilst I get on making new discoveries... hehe :p:

    Actually, I can't wait to start studying medicine! Dr nikk has a good ring to it

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Updated: September 19, 2006
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