ATP hydrolysis

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ATP hydrolysis is the catabolic process of adding water (H20) to split a molecule of ATP (Adenose triphosphate) to form ADP (adenosine diphosphate)[1] and an inorganic phopshate group[2].

The breaking of the phosphoanhydride bond releases energy, which can be used to drive many cellular reactions, ranging from the chemosmosis of hydrogen ions in the electron transport chain, to the movement of molecules across cell membranes.

This is a reversible reaction by the addition of water, the process is called condenstion. ATP can be both formed and hydrolysed by the cellular enzyme ATPase[3].


  1. 'How much energy is released in ATP hydrolysis?' (Accessed 21/10/18)
  2. Crofts, A. 'Factors contributing to the free energy hydrolysis of ATP'. (1996). (accessed 21/10/18)
  3. Li, C.; Ueno, H.; Wantanabe, R.; Noji, H.; Komatsuzaki, T. 'ATP hydrolysis assists phosphate release and promotes reaction ordering in F1-ATPase' (2015). Nature Communications, 6; 10223.
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